NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Stakeholders of the Bahamas Carnival Experience have already begun to debate whether the carnival will return to The Bahamas next 12 months and the way it’ll look.
Former Chairman and Marketing Spokesperson for the Bahamas Carnival Band Owners Association, Dario Tirelli told Eyewitness News that with regattas and Family Island festivals seeing their return, it’s the hope of the carnival community that an event could be held in 2023 with plans already being set in motion.
The federal government has announced that Family Island festivals and Regattas will return this summer and restrictions have been rolled back for big gatherings and inter-island travel.
Tirelli said: “We want regattas. Regattas are an out of doors event and so we want to expand the economy of the country and entertainment is certainly one of the most important expansions of this economy, pure and straightforward.”
The last carnival was held in May 2019.
The 2020 Bahamas Carnival Experience, was set to happen on May 1 – 3, 2020, and was also set to reintroduce the songwriting and music masters competition for Bahamian artists.
Nevertheless, organizers announced the postponement of the road march and related events on March 16, just sooner or later after the country recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19.
It was officially canceled on April 19, with organizers signalling that a new date was tentatively set for May 2021.
Nevertheless, with sweeping COVID-19 waves over the past two years, there have been teetering restrictions on large gatherings.
It was the third 12 months that Polantra Media Group had ownership and management for the event.
The inaugural Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival in 2015 cost the Christie administration $12.9 million.
The 2016 installment of the event cost $9.8 million, of which $8.1 million was subsidized by the federal government, in line with The Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC).
The 2017 carnival report has still not been released.
The Minnis administration announced early in its term that it’ll not fund the carnival, and withdrew its support from the event in 2018.
But Tirelli said although the previous administration opted out of financially supporting the events, it was an excellent opportunity for business people to get creative in how they raise capital for their business.
“For the last two years due to COVID, carnivals world wide like all other festival, whether it was a music festival or food festivals were canceled,” he continued.
“Definitely, we could have a carnival. We can have something close by where we’ll launch it as an out of doors event.”