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Fodor's Expert Review New Year's Day Junkanoo Parade
Grand Bahama IslandCultural Festivals
Junkanoo is the National Festival of the Bahamas, named after an African tribal chief named "John Canoe," who demanded the right to celebrate with his people after being brought to the West Indies in slavery. Starting in the evening on January 1, and into the early morning hours, the downtown streets of Freeport come alive with larger-than-life costumed dancers jumping to the sounds of drums, whistles, and cowbells. At the end of January, watch local primary and secondary students take to the streets in the same colorful, cultural garb for Junior Junkanoo.