The Government of The Bahamas has postponed the Junkanoo Carnival, in light of upcoming elections.
On Monday Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie announced that the carnival celebration – originally scheduled for May 46 in Nassau, has been “suspended” due to the approaching general election.
Chairman of Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) Paul Major, also confirmed the postponement, saying the commission made the decision after hearing Parliament was being dissolved, so patrons would not be forced to choose between going to carnival events and attending political rallies.
Then last night, directors of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival announced via social media that the new dates are 2 weekends later than originally planned and will now be held May 1820.
As the new dates were announced, traveling patrons immediately expressed outrage at having already paid for costumes, airfare, and accommodations.
Stephan Rolle, owner and promoter of the Bahamas Carnival Cruise and Bluemonkey Bahamas, said his company could lose more than US $25,000 and is now burdened with having to find a way to compensate booked passengers that were taking the cruise specifically to attend Junkanoo Carnival.
While proponents of the carnival – which have been battling the government for its support since inception, fear the lack of support and last minute change could ruin the event’s already shaky reputation.