Culture Takes Center Stage at Festival

Bahamas Cultural FestivalThe Bahamas International Cultural Festival brings together Bahamians with foreign nationals living and working in The Bahamas.  The Bahamas has a diverse variety of international residents. The annual festival is your opportunity to enjoy the food, drinks, culture and entertainment of many countries represented at the 16th Annual International Cultural Festival on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22 at the Botanical Gardens, Chippingham Road.

From Scottish bagpipers, Spanish Flamenco dancers, dancers from the Dominican Republic and Haiti to a Mexican mariachi band,  Junkanoo dancers from The Bahamas and cultural performances from the Phillipines and Cuba… there is a stage performance for everyone to enjoy.

And the food offerings are delicious.  From goo old fashioned bahamian fare to Cuban rice, peas and pork dishes, Sri Lankan curries, and cuisine from the Dominican Republic, Peru, the Philippines, China, Haiti, Guyana, the Turks & Caicos Islands, Greece, Scotland, France and England – there is food for every palate and tastebuds.

“It is a festival that showcases all these different people and countries and you get to experience their cuisine, culture and brews.  The booths in a sense, represent a window into the country and gives you a look at their cultural heritage,” says Janet Johnson from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and festival chairman.

“And the popular onstage presentations show the culture in terms of the dance and the music, and this year we have a really great lineup,” she says.

Peruvian Booth at Cultural FestivalThe festival was originally started to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. Since its inception, it has grown from year-to-year as new countries choose to participate.  New to the festival this year will be a showcase of Bahamian heritage and culture including performances from the Pyfrom quadruplets and the All-Star Marching Band.  Even the Argentineans working on the Nassau Road Project will have a booth from which they will share their gaucho culture.  The United States will also sponsor a jazz ensemble.

The booths have also been diversified this year.  Rather than just selling wares, some will offer tips and techniques on how to reproduce their product.  Culinary tourism will be a highlight this year as well, with a farmer’s market where festival patrons can purchase produce and fish.  A number of chefs will engage in cooking demonstrations.

Charities are also involved.  For the first time, the Ranfurly Home for Children will have a three-booth pavilion; Zonta will feature a garden pavilion, the Girl Guides will run the playground, Omega Psi Phi will work the gates and Rotary will run the Bacardi bar.

As for the food, small portions are the order of the day this year, according to organizers, as patrons want to sample as many different dishes as they can, and try a variety of foreign brews and home brews and visit BHG’s Festival Wine Store.

To bring out the kid in everyone there, cartoon cut-outs from popular television characters will be set up so people can put their faces into the hole and take pictures to add to the lightness of the day.

A civic-minded aspect to the event will also be highlighted this year, with the Humane Society’s promotion of animal adoption, a booth by the Ranfurly Home for Children and Hands for Hunger collecting food for those in need after the festival.

Over the two-day festival, 10 round-trip tickets to the Family Islands with hotel accommodations will be raffled, along with other prizes.

The international float parade departs Arawak Cay on Saturday at 2 pm., traveling east on West Bay Street on to Bay Street to Mackey Street, to Wulf Road on to Poinciana Drive to Nassau Street, north to West Bay Street and back to Arawak Cay.

BOOTH LISTING FOR INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL FESTIVAL

Bahamas Culinary Association
D&K Catering
Drew’s Ice Cream
Something’s Different
Switcha
Bertha’s Go Go Ribs
Sky Juice King
Mortimer Candies
Greenfire Catering
Destiny’s Delites
King of Chicken
Majors Deligght
Zonta Club of Nassau
Plant Pleasers
Buy Fresh – Buy Bahamian
Sands Beer
The Crab Shack
COB
Naturals By Wendy
Diamonds International
Kalik
Depre Bahamas
Dion Lewis
Bahamas Jewelry
Island Flava
Cash n’ Go
Cable Bahamas
Bahamas Bizz Buzz
Coca Cola
Jaria
Seahorse Face Painting
Negril Cafe
Jamaica
Guyana
Turks & Caicos
Haiti
Dominican Republic (Palomino)
Dominican Republic (Myrurgia Hernandez)
Dominican Republic (Demitrio Torres Lluberes)
Cuba
Caribbean Melting Pot (Ranfurly Home)
Out Island Promotion Board
Philippines
China (Lloyd Wong)
Chinese embassy
Canada
Mexico
U.S. Marines
Sweets & Treats
Burger Town
Sweet South
Peru (Dennis Palomino)
Peru (Carlos Mariategul)
Peru (Martha Soplin)
Peru (Maria De Los Milagros Zapata)
Peru (Cecilia Matta)
Peru
Copa Airlines
South Africa
France
Italy Kool Koi
Spain
England
Scotland
Greece
Heineken (Netherlands)
The Wine Store
Bank of The Bahamas
Remote Vans
Bahamas Humane Society
Speed Week