Bahamas Consulate Atlanta Hosts Independence Celebrations
ATLANTA, Georgia -- A family fun day picnic, Androsia-themed fashion show, Junkanoo rush-out, church service and cocktail reception were the highlights of this year’s 42nd Bahamas Independence Celebrations hosted by the Bahamas Consul General’s Office in Atlanta.
Joining the festivities this year was Tim Whaddell of Popeye’s Louisiana Chicken, who came on board as a partner to treat over 500 attendees of the picnic.
Special guest performer was Bahamian artist Veronica Bishop, one of this year’s Independence Day music and culture award recipients.
Representatives from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s Atlanta Office and Bahamas in Georgia Association also spearheaded some of the activities.
“Every year, we are striving to connect with as many Bahamians in the area as possible to a ‘common loftier goal’ as we sing in our national anthem,” said Consul General Randy E. Rolle. “We are a proud people and we come from the best island nation in the world and that is something we want to invoke within our Bahamians abroad.”
Consul General Rolle added that moments like this are “not just about enjoying our delicious cuisine or dancing to our music, but for us as a people to come together to see how far we have come and to appreciate those who have gone before us, whose shoulders we stand on, and why we celebrate independence.”
“We are grateful for the many men and women who today still tell the story of how we came to be an independent nation,” said Rolle. “Living abroad, we want to remind our younger generation to not simply identify as having Bahamian heritage but to be proud members of our diaspora who share a rich heritage, culture and history of being from one of the top nations in the region.”
The Bahamas Consulate General’s Office hosted an Independence Toast to The Nation Cocktail reception at the Consul General’s residence on Friday before the Popeye’s partnered Family Fun Dayon Saturday, which featured Junkanoo, an Androsia fashion show, Bahamian dishes, activities and Bahamian artist Veronica Bishop. The celebration concluded on Sunday with a church service at St Paul’s Episcopal Church.
“Veronica Bishop was a real treat,” said Rolle. “Not only is she a true musician, but she is an artist who represents our heritage. Through her songs, she translates stories that resonate with Bahamian culture and her music is very relatable to Bahamian life. She was very well received.”
The Consul General thanked “all the Bahamians and friends of The Bahamas who donated, prepared food, set up, participated and attended this event.”
“I was most pleased with seeing everyone come together as we strive to make this one of the most anticipated summer events in the Atlanta area,” Consul General Rolle said.
By ARTHIA NIXON For Bahamas Consulate General’s Office of Atlanta Photos: GIANNE DEMERITTE