(TYBEE ISLAND) Parade participants are converging on the Coastal Empire from points near and far. Few travel farther than the Junkanoos to get here. The group travels from the Bahamas to Tybee Island every year since making their St. Patrick’s Day Parade debut fifteen years ago. Their blend of extravagant costumes and island sounds is part of The Crab Shack float. Co-owner Jack Flanigan says it feels good to bring an international flavor to the celebration of all things Irish. “I just think that the Bahamas culture is a wonderful thing…and you have to get to really know these people to really appreciate who they are.” Flanigan says.
Barabbas Woodside is the leader of Barabbas and the Tribe, 43 members of the Junkanoos culture and reigning Christmas Day 2016 Junkanoos Champions in the Bahamas. “Junkanoos is made of of several different groups, some have thousands of members. We’re in the A-Class and you have to have at least 250 members to get in. The competition is very tough.” said Woodside.
Participating in the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a continuing honor for Woodside and his fellow performers. They set up shop on Tybee Island, with Flanigan serving as host. Junkanoos perform twice daily at the restaurant during the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Savannah. “We love coming here, sharing our culture and traditions with people.” Woodside said.