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People dressed in intricate costumes walk down a sunny street.

Guide to the 2016 Junkanoo Summer Festivals

Posted by: Nassau Paradise Island on June 29, 2016

Hear that? It’s the unmistakable sound of Junkanoo, and it’s coming your way! Every Saturday in the month of July, Arawak Cay will be home not only to delicious fresh seafood and local dishes, but to the sights, sounds and colour of Junkanoo during the Junkanoo Summer Festival.

Junkanoo is a unique blend of drumming, dancing, music and costumes that express the culture and heritage of The Bahamas, and beginning July 2, it will be on full display at Arawak Cay on West Bay Street. Parades, food, music and fun are part of the street festivals that will run every week from 12 noon until midnight as local Junkanoo groups compete to be crowned the best of the best. These events are something you won’t want to miss!

July 2 – Dance Competition

Week one of the Junkanoo Summer Festival will have you dancing in the streets as it kicks off with an epic street dance competition. Participants will show off the moves they’ve been practicing for months, and you’ll have the chance to watch these performers face-off with dance moves that will leave you spellbound.

July 9 – Independence Day

Junkanoo revellers get extra time to prepare this week, as Independence Day celebrations take over The Bahamas. Sunday, July 10 is a public holiday so expect some places to be closed. This is a perfect opportunity to make the most of the beautiful beaches of Paradise Island! If you’re really missing the sounds of Junkanoo, turn on our Junkanoo Playlist and start grooving to an island beat.

July 16 – Music Competition

The competition heats up on week three, as Junkanoo groups grab their horns and goombay drums to compete in a high-energy music and dance competition. There’s something infectious about the Caribbean beats of traditional Junkanoo music, so stop by the Straw Market, grab a cowbell, and get ready to party!

July 23 – Colourful Costumes

You’ll definitely want to head to The Fish Fry early for this week’s event – the ultimate, no holds barred Junkanoo competition featuring dance, music and costumes! The colors and vibrancy of Junkanoo costumes are truly one-of-a-kind, and are quite the photo op.

July 30 – The Grand Finale

The competition comes to an epic close at the Summer Junkanoo Carnival Awards Show and Finale. Four weeks of outstanding competition all comes down to this! So head to Arawak Cay, grab some fresh seafood, and maybe even a Kalik or Bahama Mama, and get ready to party into the night at a truly Bahamian Concert featuring the island’s’ best Junkanoo groups.

The Summer Junkanoo Carnival is a uniquely Bahamian experience that you’ll love whether it’s your first time visiting Nassau Paradise Island, or you’re a seasoned vacationer. Junkanoo is part of Bahamas history, just like pirates and rum, and it’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Paradise.

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