Bahamian music legend, Eddie Minnis, at IRHF2013
Bahamian music legend, Eddie Minnis, at IRHF 2013

Food. Music. Religion. Art. Politics. And of course, Junkanoo. Though the world knows us for breathtaking beaches, spectacular boating and fishing and some of the best diving on the planet, these are the things about which Bahamians are most passionate, the things that shape our collective identity. And, under the theme, “Celebrating Our Culture,” they’ll be saluted at this year’s Island Roots Heritage Festival, being held May 2-4 in Green Turtle Cay.

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Junkanoo Performer, IRHF 2011

Though the event program is still being finalized, the festival committee says this year’s Island Roots will feature a diverse selection of Bahamian musicians, artists, artisans and authors, popular local dishes and culinary delights, traditional island games, informative displays and presentations and a family tree research center.

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A festival tradition — plaiting the Maypole — IRHF 2013

Island Roots allows visitors to experience authentic Bahamian culture and gives Bahamians the opportunity to learn about and celebrate their individual and collective histories.

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The Royal Bahamas Police Force Band — IRHF 2011

Of course, staging this much-loved, three-day festival is not inexpensive. To help with the myriad of event costs (equipment rentals, printing, transportation and accommodation for dozens of presenters and performers, just for starters), the festival committee has planned a number of fundraising events. If you’d like to support the Island Roots Heritage Festival, here’s how:

Attend the Fundraising Grill Out on Saturday, March 8: A grill-out will be held this Saturday evening at the basketball court in the center of New Plymouth. If you’re on the cay, please drop by for dinner and dessert. Grilling begins at 5 pm.

Donate a Raffle Prize: The festival committee is seeking prize donations for their annual raffle. If you’re able to donate merchandise, gift certificates or services, they would much appreciate it. If you’d like to contribute a raffle prize, let me know, and I’ll forward contact information for the festival committee.

Donate Cash: To make a cash donation, large or small, drop me a note and I’ll put you in touch with the committee.

If you’re planning to attend this year’s Island Roots festival and haven’t yet reserved your flights, accommodations, golf cart or rental boat, better get on it. I hear they’re booking up fast. Hope to see you there!

Related Posts: Green Turtle Cay 101: Getting Here, Green Turtle Cay 101: Staying Here, Island Roots Heritage Festival: Celebrating All Things Abaco, Island Roots Heritage Festival: Bridging Past and Future, An Unscheduled Performance at Island Roots


6 thoughts on “Celebrating Our Bahamian Culture: Island Roots 2014

  • March 4, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Hello, my name is Wayne Neely, best selling author and meteorologist and I would like to attend the festival in May. I would like to know if there are any hotels or guest houses on Green Turtle Cay. I was there briefly about a year ago when I was writing my book on the great Abaco hurricane of 1932. I heard from the local artist there that it is a wonderful heritage festival. If you can help please respond to this email. Thanks much…

    Wayne Neely tel 1-242-6774486 hm 456-9476 cell

    Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2014 23:14:21 +0000 To:

    • March 5, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Hi, Wayne. Thanks for your note. Yes, the festival is a lot of fun — highly recommend it. There are two resorts in Green Turtle Cay — the Green Turtle Club and Bluff House. Both are situated outside of town, with the former being closer. There are also many houses and villas for rent, some within the settlement of New Plymouth, and some outside. Coincidentally, I’ve been working on a blog post for my GTC 101 series entitled “Where to Stay.” Will finish and post it within the next day or two, and link to it here once it’s done. Hope to have a chance to meet you at the festival!


  • March 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Looks fun, have a great day. We fly out to Abaco that day. Maybe this is the year we need to explore GTC! RH

    • March 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks, yes, it’s tons of fun. If you’re going to visit GTC, festival time is a great day to do so. Hope we’ll see you there!


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