The Junkanoo celebrations are hard to put into words. It is a celebration of culture – with dancing, parades and lively music that dates back to the 18th century in the Bahamas, Caribbean. People participating in the parade all get super dressed up in fancy, colorful costumes and masks to celebrate their culture and history. The party has gotten so popular that they have made a separate celebration for the summer months. There is also a Junior Junkanoo program for children in public and private schools to keep the tradition going. The parades can have up to 1,000 people dancing to goatskin drums, cowbells, whistles, and horns and starts in the early morning hours around 2am and goes to about 10am – with the most exciting hours happening between 3-6am as that is the liveliest. At the end of the celebrational parade, there are cash prizes given out for the best costume, which people spend months making, best music and best overall group presentation.
“The music is amazing and the dancing is spectacular. Best time to go is around 7 am its less crowded and safer…”
There are several places in the Bahamas that have their own parades and parties. The Abacus, Bimini, The Exumas, Harbor Island and Grand Bahama Island all have celebrations but the biggest is in Nassau. If you are watching the one in Nassau, make you way to Rawson’s Square because that is where they do all the judging and handing out of awards. There are tickets available however most people just tend to walk the parade route or find somewhere along the route to sit an enjoy the festivities.
The best way to get around the parade is walking there and finding a spot to sit and watch the parade as it passes by. The public transportation like busses in Nassau is super easy to use and pretty cheap and by far the most popular form of transportation for visitors. There are taxis and cars available for hire but they are the more expensive option.
There are plenty of places to stay in Nassau, however you want to book your rooms as early as you can as they tend to fill up quickly both due to the celebration as well as it just being a holiday in general. There is accommodation for any budget – hotels, motels, Airbnb’s. Head to the map below for all the best deals.
The Bahamas are set up for epic holidays, especially for people who love being outdoors in the sunshine. There is so much to do. If you want to splurge – there is the infamous Atlantis Resort and enjoy the waterslides. You can have many underwater adventures like scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming with sting rays and/or sharks, deep sea fishing tours, beautiful beaches to relax on, parasailing, horseback riding, sailing, jet ski and atv rentals.
There are loads of places to go hiking and swimming and even places to go zip lining. The Bahamas also have an interesting history and heaps of museums to learn all about their past and culture and of course there is the Junkanoo Expo Museum at Prince George Wharf in Nassau.
December 26th 2018 and January 1st 2019 and the summer festival happens every Saturday through July and August.
Don’t miss out on this incredible, colorful celebration that is Junkanoo, whether you go for the summer festivals or the more traditional Christmas and New Year’s celebrations – you are in for a treat.
Book your stay nearby Junkanoo Parade 2018 from the map, displaying all the available Airbnbs and hotels nearby, at the lowest prices.
The best and most unique action sports and adventure events in Caribbean