Despite the threat of rain, thousands of Bahamians and tourists turned up to participate in this year’s Bahamas Carnival, which lived up to its promise of being “the biggest yet”.
The three-day event kicked off with ‘Insomnia’ Friday night at Clifford Park. Trinidadian Soca artist Destra Garcia headlined the show, which also featured Farmer Nappy, Ultimate Rejects and Bahamian artists Sketch Carey and D-Mac.
Hundreds flocked to the event, notwithstanding the on and off showers all evening long. And, while there was uncertainty over whether the Road Fever March would be marred by terrible weather – as predicated by the Department of Meteorology, the day went on without a hitch, despite a late start.
Enigma Bahamas Co-founder Anthony Coakley told Eyewitnes News, that rain or shine, his group would hit the road and ‘leave its mark’.
“Every year we want to bring a new experience to the crowd and the participants,” Coakley said.
“We have prizes and surprises for everyone. We didn’t care about whether it would rain or not. We were going to be here. We worked hard. The costumes are amazing, the team is amazing and you will always get a show from us. This is what we love to do and we will make sure everyone enjoys every aspect of what we have to offer, even the naysayers.”
Eyewitness News also spoke with Sara Lyn from Minnesota who said, she and her husband were told about Bahamas Carnival by a local taxi driver and she knew they “had to participate”. Her only regret she said, was not being able to stay for the entire weekend.
“We came for vacation and we were told about this so we came to watch,” she said.
“It is beautiful and my husband can’t stop looking at the bodies.
“I wish we had known about it earlier. I would have extended our stay but we will be back to participate. I can guarantee that.”
The Road Fever march began at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday – three hours after its scheduled time. However, the late start did not detour the participants or the spectators who lined the entire route, to watch all the action.
The seven-hour parade began on Thompson Boulevard and travelled along West Bay Street before ending at Clifford Park.
Lakeisha Thomas, who brought her entire family to watch the march said, “I just had to see it in person.”
“I just wanted to see what all the noise was about and why people were so opposed to it.
“I brought my kids and my mom and we love it. The costumes are beautiful the music is good and we even got some free stuff. I don’t care if it isn’t technically our culture. I love it and I will continue to support it.”
Hours after the march ended, all roads led to Clifford Park for “Amnesia” which featured world renowned record producer and executive DJ Khaled as well as International Soca star Machel Montano, Jamaican Reggae artist Mr. Vegas, Bahamian Artists Wendi and Dyson Knight and surprise guest artist Jamaican Reggae artist Movado.
DJ Khaled took the audience – which nearly tripled from Friday night – through a range of his hit songs, while Wendi introduced the public to her new song “Attitude”.
Headliner Montano closed out the event around 4:00 a.m. after the rain interrupted his performance – for the second time. Last year during6 Carnival, it rained just as Montano hit the stage.
Ryan Miller, 27, a spectator said, he stayed despite the rain because, “I just couldn’t miss it”.
“Where else can I see all of these artists in one place for so cheap? You think I was missing this? Rain was not going to stop me,” he said.
“It’s only water. I had a blast and I look forward to next year”.
The event ended on Sunday with “Unleash” – the ultimate cooler fete – at Arawak Cay featuring headliner Skinny Fabulous.