NASSAU, The Bahamas – Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Charles Maynard announced recently that Junkanoo sales will begin online early this year, on Saturday, October 23, 2010.
“Usually tickets go on sale the second week of December and that usually causes a lot of problems for people who are visiting The Bahamas and want to participate in the Junkanoo parades or people who are away in school or from a Family Island,” Minister Maynard said at a press conference at his ministry.
“We thought that putting tickets on sale early would allow the ticket sales to go more smoothly.”
Minister Maynard added that he wanted to make it clear that only 50 per cent of available tickets will be online at www.caribtickets.com, at 10 am on that date. Walk-up sales, he said will begin December 1.
“That is when the other half of the tickets will then be made available for sale,” Minister Maynard said.
“So, for those who do not have the ability to buy tickets online or those who do not feel comfortable buying ticket online will be able to buy tickets as they usually do.”
The Boxing Day Parade will take place on Monday, December 27, 2010, beginning at 12:01 a.m. and the 2011 New Year’s Day Parade will take place on Saturday, January 1, at 2 a.m.
Chairman of the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP) Silbert Ferguson thanked the ministry and the Bahamian public for their support and announced two initiatives that the JCNP have on it docket this year.
The first is the production of the official Junkanoo magazine for the parade. “Right now we are out there and we are asking our corporate sponsors to support us in this venture because this will be the official magazine of the parades,” Mr. Ferguson said.
He added that the JCNP “will guarantee” that the magazine would be available for sale on January 14, 2011, making it a “very, very bold move on behalf of the corporation”.
Mr. Ferguson said that they had some success, based on the efforts of various members; but the corporation still needs corporate sponsors to join them.
“We will only be producing 5,000 copies of this magazine; so these would be on a first-come-first-serve basis, once the prints hit the shelves,” Mr. Ferguson said.
The second initiative would be “a golden opportunity” for persons interested in getting into the parade to purchase costumes to take part in the Junkanoo Rush.
“This will take place at 6 a.m. Boxing Day morning,” Mr. Ferguson said.
“I f you had not had this experience, this is a golden opportunity for you to get involved with this particular production.”
The 500-limited edition costumes depict the sun, the water or the shell in the three designs.
“These costumes are bright and beautiful and you could place your orders at the Junkanoo Corporation,” he added.
“Once you place your orders, we will get your sizes and your costumes will be ready and you can pick them up on December 20”.
Chief Executive Officer of CaribTickets Colin Wells said his company is very excited with this initiative and realise how important the online access is for those outside the country.
Minister Maynard said: “We are very pleased with the co-operation that we have the Junkanoo Corporation and the ticket company, in terms of how smoothly things have been going over the last few years and we expect that this year will go as smoothly or even better, as a result of starting ticket sales early.”
Minister Maynard added that they will have the most seats ever in Rawson Square this year, due to a new configuration.
“That will give more people the opportunity to sit in the choice area,” he said.
“The ticket prices are the same as they were last year, with $45 being the discounted price for seats in Rawson Square and tickets on Shirley Street costing as little as $5.
“Once again, we are pleased to make Junkanoo, our number one cultural expression, available to as many Bahamians as possible – accessible and comfortable.”
By Eric Rose
Bahamas Information Services