Bahamas Goombay Summer is a festival that is held throughout the summer on various islands in The Bahamas. In Grand Bahama, we celebrated the festival every Thursday in the month of July. Managed by The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, the festival showcases what being a Bahamian is genuinely about. These festivals feature Bahamian music, delicious local cuisine, drinks, traditional Bahamian dancers, live Bahamian performances and so much more.
Goombay Summer Demonstrations
This year was its first time back since 2019 due to Hurricane Dorian and then the Covid-19 pandemic. Walking into the field at Taino Beach, the energy was amazing. Food, drinks, and activity booths were lined off from the beginning to the end of the field. There was a Kalik Beer tent in the middle of the field closest to the entrance sampling its two new flavors (Citrus Strawberry and Black Currant). Further in there was a conch cracking and coconut husking exhibition. This demonstrated the art of properly opening coconuts without making a complete mess. The hosts of the festival also explained the benefits of coconuts which was very educational.
Tea Tasting and Bahamian Food Booths
They had a live conch salad stand where the ladies made the Bahamian delicacy right in front of you. Moving along to the Tea Testing booth where you had the option to try three native bush teas. There were the Fever Grass Tea, The Allspice Tea, and Sour Sop Tea. I tried all and the Fever Grass Tea was my favorite. The food stalls all had native Bahamian dishes such as conch fritters, crab and dough, conch and rice, fried fish, cracked conch, and so on. There was honestly too much food to try on the first visit! It’s best to try a new food booth every week.
The Gully Wash booth had quite a crowd as well. Gully Wash (as we call it in Grand Bahama) is made of 3 simple ingredients. Gin, Coconut Water, and Condensed Milk. There are lots of variations all over the Bahamas with added ingredients but when visiting it’s definitely a must-try. Before the live entertainment, a Junkanoo rush out began. The instruments and the dancers as well as the costumes were very dazzling. Our attention then turned to the center where the stage was set for Bahamian artists such as KB, Veronica Bishop, Ancient Man, and D-Mac took the mic to perform. The sweet Bahamian music electrified the crowds! Dancing, singing, and togetherness are what this festival really brought to the locals and visitors alike!
A noteworthy section was the mini market that held authentic Bahamian crafts and merchandise for sale. Handmade jewelry, straw items, and Bahamas Goombay Summer shirts in every color possible. This festival not only brought the much-needed spark back into the Freeport entertainment scene but it was refreshing to see so many tourists interacting and learning about the culture.
Head over to my YouTube Channel (here) to see all the fun you may have missed! Make sure to plan to visit Grand Bahama during the summer of next year to catch our Goombay Summer Festival.