Bahamian food, dance, music and art took centre stage on Saturday when the Tru-Tru Bahamian Festival descended on the Buena Vista Estate in Downtown Nassau. Hosted by the Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA) and the Ministry of Tourism, the cultural festival showed attendees what being a “tru tru” Bahamian really means.
The event kicked off at 10:00 a.m. at John Watling’s Distillery and boasted a schedule jam-packed with entertainers, games and interactive activities for individuals, young and old, to enjoy.
The Tru-Tru Bahamian Festival, which is in its second year, aspires to educate, excite, entertain and empower Bahamians.
The event is a celebration of the country’s history, cuisine and culture that shows young Bahamians where they have come from, reminds older generations of what they have lived through and encourages all Bahamians to be proud of who they are.
This year, REV partnered once again with the BHTA and Ministry of Tourism to host the Tru-Tru Bahamian Festival. “The Tru-Tru Bahamian Festival really is consistent with our company beliefs,” REV Marketing Manager Melissa Colebrook said. “Celebrating Bahamians and our rich culture is at the heart of our community efforts, so supporting the festival has been a natural progression for us.”
Much like the first edition of the festival, this year’s event featured a REV booth where attendees received complimentary REV gear. Representatives from Our TV also returned to the event this year to speak to festivalgoers about what it means to be uniquely Bahamian.
“This is not just a cultural event. It’s a movement – one that doesn’t just stop at the Tru-Tru Bahamian Festival,” Colebrook said. “It’s important for us as a communications company to be able to help educate Bahamians about our history and traditions and inspire them to keep this legacy going. On the other hand, the festival is also a wonderful opportunity to give visitors a taste of who we are.”
The Tru-Tru Bahamian Festival featured a range of vendors and artists, in addition to activities such as plaiting the maypole, ring play, and storytelling. The schedule also included performances by the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band, Ira Storr and the Spank Band, Bahamian cultural fire dancers and a rush-out by the Junkanoo Commandos.
BHTA Executive Vice President Suzanne Pattusch explained that the festival was pushed to February after Hurricane Matthew made it difficult to host the event in November. Despite the setback, she said, the cultural celebration proved to be an exciting outing for Bahamian families and visitors alike.
“This year’s Tru-Tru Bahamian Festival surpassed our expectations,” Pattusch said. “We knew we had the ingredients for success, but this particular festival was incredibly meaningful, not just in terms of the numbers that came out, but also the feedback. We were supported by throngs of local families who said we need to do this weekly and this is the kind of family-friendly fun they’ve been craving. We were blown away.”