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Brilanders Rock Lauderdale's Jensen Beach Fest
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Page 1 of 1Total of 5 messages
Posted by:Nov 8th 2007, 06:58:56 pm
KristelHey that blog is just a link to their website... here it is directly so you all can remember it in the future...
Posted by:Nov 8th 2007, 06:44:49 pm
Fig Tree News TeamEleuthera and Jensena Building Bridges of Friendship


By STAFF WRITER, Bahamas Information Service

FT. LAUDERDALE, Florida - The Ministry of Tourism's Eleuthera Office manager Jackie Gibson was about the have the surprise of her life. When she organized the pineapple festival in Gregory Town, Eleuthera she was convinced it was the only of its kind.

But two years later her colleague Bridget Pierre King, who at that time had tourism responsibilities for the Treasure Coast area of Florida, told her of a pineapple festival in Jensen Beach.

"I was shocked," Ms Gibson recalled. "I felt we were the only people on planet earth who had a pineapple festival.

"I said 'Bridget you have to get me the contact because I need to know what they are doing so we can share ideas and come up with something that is unique.'"

A few days later she connected with Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce executive director, the affable Ron Rose, and the rest is history in the making.

"We found that there were so many similarities between our little community and that of Jensen Beach," said Ms Gibson.

Former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling sanctioned an exchange of proclamations declaring Gregory Town and Jensen Beach sister cities.

Last weekend, in celebration of twenty years of sisterhood, a large contingent from Eleuthera including the Brilanders, the Junkanoo Allstars, and the Ministry of Tourism seasoned the Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival with that spicy Bahamian flavour.

One outcome of the relationship has been the establishment of the Authentic Bahamian Marketplace at the Jensen Festival featuring a wide variety of products made in the Bahamas. This year it was a hit

"The Bahamian Marketplace defines this event," said Rose. "It gives the festival a theme; it gives it a feeling; and it gives it some authenticity.

"When you think about it, there have been a lot of promotions about Junkanoo, but how many festivals here (in the US) can boast that they have had the real thing?"

Students of Jensen Beach High School got a first hand taste of 'the real thing'.

Several members of the Eleuthera Junkanoo Allstars are themselves high schoolers. Some were visiting America for the first time.

"They went into Jensen High and gave a lesson on Junkanoo," said Ms Gibson. "They took in some drums, whistles and horns and the children got to know what Junkanoo is.

"Only two in the class had ever heard about Junkanoo and they still did not have a good definition for it. Now they know about Junkanoo and Eleuthera and The Bahamas."

The connection between Eleuthera and Jensen Beach goes back to the 1880s. Research shows that farmers from Eleuthera helped establish the pineapple industry in Jensen Beach.

"What makes this event grand have been the great friendships and a lot of teamwork," said Mr. Rose. "Jackie Gibson has been an outstanding friend and a great part of the team that makes this event a great event.

"You can tell by the festival goers' reaction that the contribution of The Bahamas is cherished. They were all dancing in the streets behind the Junkanoo band and when the Brilanders were performing. The people are really happy with everything.

"We wanted to have a culturally oriented, family friendly atmosphere. The Bahamian Marketplace contributed to that. You saw the families flocking to get their hair braided. The festival was a huge success," said Mr. Rose.

The sister city relationship has gone beyond pineapple festivals, noted Ms Gibson. She recalled the devastation to Eleuthera caused by Hurricane Andrew.

"Jensen Beach came to our aid," she said. "They sent over plain loads of relief items.

"They have been fabulous to us. They know us by our names. They told us they actually missed us from last time."

A popular feature of the Bahamian Marketplace was the worldwide promotion of Bahamian music.

"We love of The Bahamas; we love the people; and we love the culture," said Janis Camis who, along with her husband, 'Bahama' Bob operate Bahamian Music Distributors from Fort Pierce, Florida.

"If it's not Bahamian it's not happening," she said. "If you could open my husband's chest you would see inscribed on his heart: 'made in The Bahamas'.

"I rarely listen to the music from here (in the US). Our radio is always on ZNS which is the only station from Nassau we can receive, and it's Bahamian."

Already patrons are looking forward to the four-day Gregory Town Pineapple Festival held during the first weekend of June.
Posted by:Nov 7th 2007, 12:37:30 pm
kristiI got news here in France that the Brilanders were great (and that they played for over an hour without taking a break). Hope they'll play that long without taking breaks over the x-mas holidays too - hint hint hint :-)
Posted by:Nov 5th 2007, 08:33:26 pm
Fig Tree News TeamCool blog on the Brilanders:
Posted by:Nov 5th 2007, 07:07:29 pm
Fig Tree News TeamBahamians rock Lauderdale's Jensen Beach Festival

By Gladstone Thurston, Bahamas Information Services

Jensen Beach rocked to the rhythm of the Bahamian beat as Gregory Town, Eleuthera joined its sister city in celebrating the renowned Pineapple Festival.

The three-day event, which ended yesterday, also featured the "Bahamian Marketplace" that showcased a wide variety of products of The Bahamas.

And although icon performer Chubby Checker brought the house down, it was Larry Cleare and The Brilanders and the Eleuthera All-stars Junkanooers who won the hearts of patrons.

"We love Jensen Beach and they love us," said Cleare. "Everybody is having a good time in an atmosphere of peace and love."

Cleare released the Brilanders' new album 'Getting by on Sunshine' which featured new material and their two hits "Party in the backyard" and "Harbour Island."

"It was quite a challenge after the storm, Noel, decided to intervene but we made it and it has been great," said Glenda Johnson of the Ministry of Tourism office in Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera.

"The reception was excellent. People kept coming in and purchasing the Bahamian products and asking us about The Bahamas. I feel certain next year it will be even better."Also representing the Ministry of Tourism were Eleuthera Tourist Office manager Jackie Gibson, Donnalee Miller, Norma Wilkinson and Cecile Torrence from the Plantation, Florida Tourist Office.

Jensen Beach has been the official "sister city" of Gregory Town for twenty years. A contingent from Jensen Beach also participates in the Gregory Town Pineapple Festival, the first weekend in June.

Eleuthera has experienced many benefits as a result of the relationship with Jensen Beach.

"This is a relationship that not only fostered a lasting friendship between our two communities," said Ms Johnson. "But it is also one that opened the door to economic benefits for all."

The Bahamian Marketplace at the Jensen Festival allows artisans and food vendors to showcase their products. During one of the festival's events, a Gregory Town straw vendor supplied a Jensen Beach business with much of her work. An artist also won commission work from several residents there.

Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, a contingent from Jensen Beach brought plane-loads of relief supplies for Eleuthera.

In 1881, John Laurence Jensen, an immigrant from Denmark, set up a pineapple plantation which became known as the town of Jensen with the pineapple as its symbol.

Research by former Gregory Town resident Diane Thompson-Turnquest confirmed that Bahamian farmers assisted in the growth and cultivation of the pineapple industry in Jensen.

"It is just great being here," said Hank Johnson, Chief Councilor for Central Eleuthera (including Gregory Town). "The hospitality of the people of Jensen Beach, the way they have accepted us Eleutherans, is out of this world. We feel at home here. You would think you're in the islands of The Bahamas."

He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Councilor Larry Minnis and council member Aretha Rolle of James Cistern.

"They really appreciate our culture. The park came to a standstill when our Junkanoo group performed," continued Chief Councilor Johnson. "It tells us that we have something unique and that we have to continue to build on that. Our Junkanoo culture is going someplace."

"It's heartwarming that Gregory Town has a sister city in Jensen Beach," Mr Johnson continued. "You can really see the love between them here. We can even see each other in each others' faces. The Bahamian trend is definitely here in Jensen.

"At the Gregory Town festival, we will be right there welcoming Jensen Beach to Eleuthera and extending to them the same courtesy that they have extended to us, or better."

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