2018 Island Roots Heritage Festival Recap

Though I was stuck back in Los Angeles caring for Wrigley, my Green Turtle Cay friends did not disappoint when it came to keeping me updated about goings-on at the 2018 Island Roots Heritage Festival, and of course, taking some terrific photographs.

Weatherwise, the festival got off to a rocky start, with heavy rains on Friday, May 4, which led to the postponement of a number of events, including the opening ceremony.

Green Turtle Cay’s own Ronel Escarment performed as part of the festival’s opening ceremonies. (Photo: Mandy Roberts.)

Fortunately for Friday festival goers, Island Roots offers several indoor activities, including the Family Research Center and the Speaker Series. Huge thanks to my husband, Tom Walters, for stepping in to deliver my presentation, “The Golden Age of Green Turtle Cay” on Friday and Saturday.

The festival committee hosted a number of VIP visitors at the 2018 festival, including our Administrator for North Abaco, Ms. Terrece Bootle, Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for North Abaco, Darren Henfield, and — a surprise guest — Bahamian Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis. (I invited the prime minister to visit us in Green Turtle Cay when we met last summer, and though I was sorry to miss seeing him, I was thrilled to learn that he came.) Apparently he and Minister Henfield had a terrific time learning to plait the Maypole.

Bahamian Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis (left, in pink shirt) and North Abaco Member of Parliament, Darren Henfield (right, in pink pants) learn the traditional Maypole plaiting.

Neil Mellies, goodwill ambassador for GTC’s sister city, Key West, also attended, and I was flattered to learn that the IRHF committee presented him with a copy of my book, Those Who Stayed

Royal Bahamian Police Force Marching Band (Photo: Linda Waller)

An array of performers entertained the crowd all weekend — everyone from the Amy Roberts Primary School students to the Royal Bahamian Police Force Marching and Pop Band, the Sax Man, Island Spice, Island Boyz, the New Entry Band and Bodine.

Bahamian artist Bodine performs at the 2018 Island Roots Heritage Festival. (Photo: Tom Walters)

Bahamian artist Bodine performs at the 2018 Island Roots Heritage Festival. (Photo: Tom Walters)

To view the full 2018 IRHF Photo Gallery, click HERE. And to receive updates about future Island Roots festivals, visit the IRHF website, scroll to the bottom left of the home page, and click “Follow the IRHF via email.”

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