NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence (JCNP) Chairman Dion Miller yesterday clarified the 2019 Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade was a penalty parade despite its late start due to inclement weather.
Miller said the organization will soon be releasing the official results and penalties to the public as he responded to earlier reports the parade would be penalty-free.
The Valley Boys was named the unofficial winner of the parade, securing 81.44 points, and Saxons Superstars placed second with 80.01 points.
Genesis placed third with a score of 77.66 points, and One Family, who swept the Boxing Day Parade in 2018, ranked fourth placed with 68.19 points.
Several of the groups received deductions from penalties.
The results have been hotly debated on social media with fans and junkanooers questioning the fairness of penalties given the inclement weather that saw the parade delayed by two hours.
In an interview with Eyewitness News Online on the matter, Miller explained, “Every parade, junkanooers parade under the guise of it’s a penalty parade.
“There was a meeting called at 7:30 pm Boxing Day, during which it was agreed to by all groups that the parade time, because of the inclement weather, would be moved to a 12 am start instead of the stated 10 p.m. start.
“It was also agreed by all groups that it would be a full three lap parade, as well as a penalty parade. No individual can make the determination or call to make a parade a non-penalty parade.”
Miller said: “I am aware that several person were under the belief that it was a non-penalty parade, but in order for the parade to be a non-penalty parade, what would have happened, had to happen, was that another emergency meeting should have been called for all groups to be polled and for the majority of groups to vote to make it a non-penalty parade.
“That did not happen, so as the agreement at 7:30 pm, it was a normal parade that included penalty.”
While he could not outline at the time what the penalties were each group received, Miller insisted that it was a transparent process.
“Every group had a group observer in the tally room and they were able to see every score as they came in, every penalty, etc,” he said.
He further noted that this year, groups were also provided with photographic evidence to show what their infraction was and what they received penalties for.
He added that a fully automated digital scoring platform was introduced this year, which automatically calculated the groups’ scores in live time.
Each group was given a username and password where they could access their results.
“Everything is there for groups to see,” Miller said.
“They are in possession…So as soon as we get passed the protest period we will make that information and that platform available for the public to see exactly which penalties were levied.”
Following the parade, groups had a 48-hour period whereby they could launch an official protest of their scores.
Miller could not say at the time whether any groups submitted protests.
The protest period ended last night, he said.
The JCNP chairman said the disappointment and frustration with the results is something that is experienced every year.
“This is almost a part of the junkanoo process,” Miller said.
“You have groups parade and then after the parade everyone feels that they were robbed or this or that.
“It’s a part of the tradition, so we expected it. We expect the same reaction after the New year’s Parade. This is just a part of the game.
“But in terms of the parade, we feel good about how the parade was ran. There weren’t any major gaps as in years passed. We are going to continue to improve on that.
“We are hoping that the weather will cooperate and we are just excited.”
He added the JCNP will be raffling off a Nissan Note and some flat screen TVs to a few to lucky spectators at the New Year’s Junkanoo Parade.