January 15, 2021
The spirit of Junkanoo was upheld this year despite the parade cancellations made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 40 diehard Junkanoos from all over The Bahamas grabbed their paste, crepe paper, tricks and embellishments and of course a KFC bucket, to create stunning headpieces for the KFC Nassau Junkanoo Buckets promotion.
The unique contest, which was sponsored by KFC Nassau and endorsed by National Junkanoo Committee co-chairs Kishlane Smith and Dr Dwight Marshall, required that entries incorporate an actual KFC bucket in the design and showcase visibly undecorated fringed crepe paper.
“We were simply blown away by the creativity and mastery that went into this competition,” said Joanne Cates, Marketing Director for KFC Nassau, operated by Restaurants Bahamas Limited. “And of course here at KFC Nassau we were thrilled to see so many take the requirement of including a KFC bucket in the construction a step further and design headpieces that were a real tribute to the KFC brand.”
In fact, so impressed was management with the creativity, quality, skill and effort to truly capture the essence of the KFC brand that they added another prize category to award what has been dubbed the ‘Colonel’s Choice Award’. The company also added almost $10,000, bringing the total prize money to $40,000.
This new category of prizes was judged by a combined panel of the National Junkanoo Committee co-chairs and top members of the KFC Executive Team.
Winning first place in the Colonel’s Choice Award was Owen Stubbs with his entry titled “May I Take Your Order?” His headpiece showcased the complete KFC dining experience – from the physical restaurant, the team member taking the order and of course, the delicious fried chicken and all the sides – won him a cheque for $5,000.
Second place in the Colonel’s Choice Award and a prize of $3,000 was awarded to Gino Rolle for his entry “KFC Junkanoo Bucket”. The headpiece that won third place in the Colonel’s Choice Award and $1,500 was titled “Colonel’s Treat” and was submitted by Crispin Brown.
With such an immense display of creativity and hard work, KFC Nassau also awarded five honorable mentions to Jermaine Allen, Carlos Bain, Nicholas Huyler Sr., Rashad Jolly and Robert Martin who each received $100.
The popular vote category was judged by members of the public who were able to cast a single online vote per IP address for each entry.
The winning entry of a KFC Junkanoo Buckets headpiece titled “It’s… Good” was submitted by Remee Michell Martin who was excited to receive $5,000. The headpiece garnering the second highest vote tally was “What’s on the Menu” submitted by Don Dorsette who received $3,000. The third place winner of $1,500 was Robert Martin whose headpiece was titled “Finger Lickin’ Good”.
This year, the competition also sought to recognize the group rivalry in the time honored tradition of Junkanoo and allowed each entrant to identify which Junkanoo group they belong to or support. There was also big prize money on the line for the Junkanoo groups with the most entries claiming an affiliation. Similar to the ‘A’ and ‘B’ divisions in the New Providence Junkanoo parades, KFC Nassau created two divisions to give all groups, regardless of size, a chance to win. For the KFC Nassau Junkanoo Buckets competition, ‘Group 1’ had 350 or more members and ‘Group 2’ had 349 members or less.
For the inaugural KFC Junkanoo Buckets competition, the winner of Group 1 and a cheque for $12,000 was The Valley Boys. In the Group 2 classification, winning $8,0000, Body of Christ came out on top.
“We would like to thank KFC Nassau for organizing, planning, and creating such a fabulous event,” said Smith. “Thank you for the tremendous support rendered to the Junkanoo community. But most importantly, thank you KFC Nassau for allowing Junkanoo to be highlighted in such a prestigious realm which has never been done before in this aspect via a national junkanoo hat competition.”
“We thank all who entered and took the time to vote for their favorite headpieces as well as the National Junkanoo Committee for their partnership and expert guidance in ensuring this competition truly represented the tradition of Junkanoo,” said Cates, adding, “KFC Nassau is proud to have been able to give members of the Junkanoo community a way to express themselves and keep Junkanoo alive in this unique way. And while we certainly hope that the country is in a position that the Junkanoo parades can go on this coming Junkanoo season, we can reveal that we intend to make the KFC Junkanoo Buckets competition an ongoing part of the tradition.”