Fire Dancer, Venus, out of New Providence was a big hit with the crowd out to take in the evening entertainment at the 1st Annual Crafters & Cultural Festival. Her fire play – which involved rhythmic dance, and blowing out sky high flames, as well as enticing some in the audience to feel the real heat of the fire – thrilled the onlookers.

The 1st Annual Crafters and Cultural Festival, hosted by the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) – held at Bayfront Park in the heart of Governor’s Harbour, brought together local artisans, showcasing a plethora of early Christmas shopping options, as well as an impressive show of home grown produce, preserves and teas, along with cultural entertainment.  The family friendly festival, set against the beautiful backdrop of the bayfront in the island’s capital saw scores of locals and visitors turn out to enjoy the unique event.

The hoopla stall, by Mrs. Shauna Nairn, was a popular feature with kids and adults at the Festival.

Vendors, like Janet Hunt of Tarpum Bay brought a selection of creative quilted items, with mug rugs and clutches, tree ornaments and quilted throws, as well as other gift items from the Eleuthera Pineapple Quilters in South Eleuthera.  Delroy Sweeting, all the way from the Ponderosa Gift Shop in Spanish Wells was laden with imaginative souvenirs, highlighting the township’s imagery and sea life.  Wemyss Bight’s Charlie Strachan, had his island made offering of straw bags, hats, mats and more on display.  Shoppers were also treated to a display of the master straw craftsmanship of Emily Munnings with her current line of high fashion straw bags, totes, clutches and jewelry.

Taking in local art by Thearon Johnson at the Crafters & Cultural Fest.

Bekera Taylor, from her farm in Hatchet Bay, showcased a delicious variety of local produce with fresh roast corn available for purchase. An array of pepper sauces, spices, teas, as well as a new jewelry and souvenir line by Calae Burrows’ Octis Organics saw locals and visitors stopping by for gifts and a taste of the spicy sauces.  Eleutheran artist, Theoron Johnson, brought a selection of island-themed prints and paintings for interested collectors, and ALIV manned a booth with giveaway goodie bags for adults and backpacks stuffed with school supplies for children.  The offerings for patrons went on, with food and pastry vendors, fresh plants and pet birds, daiquiris, hoopla, toys, drinks, fresh herbal teas and more.

Horatio Alexander, proprietor of Da Perk, visiting the stall of pepper sauces, spices, teas, as well as a new jewelry and souvenir line by Calae Burrows of Octis Organics.

As afternoon of the final day in November, turned into evening, the cultural show began, with the renown Eleutheran pineapple farmer, Lady Di, cooking up a batch of her pineapple jam – for all to see and taste afterwards.  Local seamstress and designer, ‘Empress Verda’, followed with a showcase of her latest goombay themed fashions with a bevy of beautiful local models – from the tiny tot to adult female ensembles.  Corey Hield and Bodine Johnson went on to entertain the crowd with Bahamian favourites, backed up by the Blue Waters band. Venus, a talented fire dancer – then stole the show, heating up the evening as she played with flames.  The evening’s entertainment climaxed with a Junkanoo rush-out led by young junkanoo dancers out of Hatchet Bay.

Staff from the Ministry of Tourism all smiles with the Island Flavor Band in the background.

MOT Manager, Jacqueline Gibson, ahead of the event, commented that international concern and misinformation about which islands were affected by Hurricane Dorian were still issues that were being tackled head on by her Ministry, as calls were still coming in from people asking if the beaches were okay and what was happening with the island of Eleuthera.  The Festival, said Ms. Gibson, showcased that Eleuthera was open for business!

Topping the list of favorites on the evening program was Empress Verda’s (talented local seamstress and designer) bevy of local models, of both girls and ladies, showing off her Bahamian themed creations, which incorporated local fabrics of Androsia prints, crocus bag, and straw work.


Junkanoo dancers ahead of the cultural rush, climaxed the evening entertainment.