Authentic Bahamian Craft Wows Visitors and Locals at Junkanoo Summer Festival
Nassau, Bahamas: This year, Junkanoo Summer Festival puts on display a wide selection ofauthentic Bahamian craft and goods: jewelry, bags, wood carvings, household items and skin care products– all made from indigenous Bahamian materials. The high-quality, uniquely crafted Bahamian merchandise is available at the festival site, at Arawak Cay, every Saturday until August 4.
Many of the vendors at the site have been a part of the festival since its inception many years ago. Betty Turnquest of B.A. Turnquest Enterprises that specializes in straw goods is one of them.
“It’s something that I like to do and it’s been okay financially,” she said. “Bahamians love their native straw and so they are excited and I have return customers that come looking for me every year.
Sheila Albury of Seashells and Coconut Craft said she enjoys coming to Junkanoo Summer Festival to meet people. “I like to come and meet people and talk about my work,” she said. “I love it and people are always very interested in how my merchandise is created.”
Celestine Albury of Celestine Woodcarvings said the best part of Junkanoo Summer Festival is demonstrating to visitors how she creates her items. Albury sells a number of pieces such as bow ties, dolls, jewelry and refrigerator magnets made in the shape of different animals.
“Everyone is impressed with the wide variety that I have and the quality of work. They love looking at the merchandise, purchasing it and when I demonstrate. They also love to get in on the fun and try it for themselves. I love the interaction with the guests,” she said.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation has also created a pop-up store that sells Junkanoo Summer Festival paraphernalia like pens, cups, shirts, bags, selfie sticks and much more.
Junkanoo Summer Festival began on July 7 and will continue every Saturday until August 4.
At the event site at Arawak Cay, festivalgoers have 20 vendors to choose from, and are treated to a dynamic concert series, cultural games, an exciting kiddie corner and the magnifying sounds of Junkanoo.
This Saturday, the festival will focus on the theme Rake N’ Scrape with performances by Spank Band, Ira Storr, Veronica Bishop and Elon Moxey.
Conquerors for Christ and Genesis will carry out Junkanoo performances.
For more information about Junkanoo Summer Festival, visit www.Bahamas.com/summerfestivals.