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Bahamas Junkanoo Festival Parade 12 copyright M. Timothy O'Keefe -


Since the Junkanoo Parade is held only twice a year, most visitors to the Bahamas never see the celebration.

But you can still experience the sights and colors of Junkanoo at Nassau's Junkanoo Expo Museum on Prince George Wharf. Open daily, the admission is US$2 for adults, 50 cents for children under 12 years. The museum contains winning floats from recent festivals.

In addition, many hotels on New Providence Island and Grand Bahama Island have started exhibiting Junkanoo costumes as part of their main lobby and hallway decor.

Yet these hollow shells are only a taste of the exuberant celebration itself, a ghostly mirror of the Junkanoo spirit that exists only when the lively revelers themselves are present and parading in full costume, accompanied by their distinctive musical sound that vibrates with overtones of pandemonium.

Junkanoo is reason enough to be in the Bahamas during the Christmas or New Year's holidays.

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Photographs & Text Copyright © by M Timothy O'Keefe All rights reserved.