After an election-year hiatus last year, Green Turtle Cay’s award-winning Island Roots Heritage Festival is back!
The festival organizing committee invites you to join us in Green Turtle Cay May 4-6, 2018 for a weekend celebrating our Loyalist roots and our Bahamian cuisine, entertainment, art and culture.
Photo courtesy of Mandy Roberts
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Historian Betty Bruce and Artist Alton Lowe, founder of the Island Roots Heritage Festival
Forty years ago this week, the inaugural Island Roots Heritage Festival took place in Key West and then in Green Turtle Cay .
During the planning for the first Island Roots Festival, Key West historian Betty Bruce – whose ancestors were among those Abaco families who settled Key West – began gathering the names of other Floridians whose roots stretched across the Gulf Stream to the Bahama islands.
She posted a sign-up sheet in the Monroe County Public Library in Key West and put the word out.
Within just a few months, she had gathered several hundred names on a scroll, which now resides in the archives of the Albert Lowe Museum.
Reading through the scroll, you recognize many common Bahamian surnames, such as Pinder, Knowles, Kemp, Symonette and Moss, from the various Bahamian islands including Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, Harbour Island, Long Island, Nassau and Grand Bahama.
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