Youngsters bombard Pioneer's Way
Some 24 schools participated in the 14th Annual Charles Michael Wright City of Freeport Council Junior Junkanoo Parade Saturday evening, competing for the number one spot in this year's festivities.
The yearly event that not only creates excitement on campuses throughout the island, but has over the years spilled over to the point where it's captured the hearts of parents, who not only come out to see youngsters participate in the cultural event, but they themselves have become deeply involved in the preparation part of Junior Junaknoo.
Crystal Douglas, parent of a preschooler at Letty's Paradise Preschool saw the parade as a wonderful experience for her little one, who is 19 months old.
"We've been working on these costumes since September and I've been active in assisting the school with preparations for the parade. Our theme is 'Alice in Wonderland' and I think this is a good opportunity to express creativity," Douglas stated.
She added that the parade is a good way of encouraging children to be more involved culturally.
Pandora Pratt noted that although the parade is geared towards paying homage to the nation's culture, the main idea of the event is to ensure the kids have a good time.
"My granddaughter is a student at Bishop Michael Eldon School and she has been working really hard on preparing for this parade. She made her costume all by herself and I am very proud of her," Pratt said.
She added: "since Junkanoo is our culture, it should be supported from young so that children can grow up to understand what it is all about."
This year's parade attracted locals from near and far, and spectators traveling overseas to witness the event.
Shirin Hedayati, of Campbell, California was excited to witness one of The Bahamas' cultural displays, particularly as she has a great interest in the nation's customs.
"I've been here for three days and I've always wanted to know some of the traditions that are done here on the island and this is great to come and see the spirit of the people and the colors, activities and most of all the food that I enjoy," she said.
Hedayati noted that although this is her third visit to the island, it was her first time witnessing the Junior Junkanoo Parade.
Evidently, she plans on returning next year.
The event was also seen as an opportunity for persons to gain monetary benefit by means of food, drinks and other items.
Food vendor Valderine Dean-Altidor of Val's Booth was pleased with the parade and the support of her customers.
"It's a pleasure to be out here tonight to watch these young kids as they perform. I've seen a good many customers and I wouldn't mind coming back again," she said.
© 2013 The Freeport News