Visitors can experience sights, sounds and flavors recalling Key West’s Bahamian heritage at the family-friendly Goombay Festival scheduled Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18-19.
The exuberant street festival takes place in the island city’s Bahama Village neighborhood, settled in the early 1800s in part by Bahamians seeking a new island home.
For more than 30 years, the Goombay Festival has marked the start of Key West’s Fantasy Fest, a 10-day costuming and masking celebration whose 2019 revelry continues through Sunday, Oct. 27.
Goombay’s high-energy action is centered on Petronia Street, just off Duval Street in the heart of Bahama Village. Events are scheduled from noon to midnight both days
Attendees can savor the flavors of the Caribbean and ethnic dishes offered by vendors, discover island-influenced arts and crafts, and dance in the streets to live music by popular Bahamian, Trinidadian, Floridian and local musicians and bands.
The main entertainment stage is located at the corner of Petronia and Fort streets, with entertainers offering nonstop tunes in genres ranging from gospel to reggae. The entertainment lineup includes Caribbean Explosion, the Bubba System featuring Coffee Butler, Clayton and Wilhelmina Lopez, Robert Albury, Kenny Miller, Miss Penny, the Bahama Village Social Club, Tara Lynne from Bimini and soca star Denise Belfon from Trinidad.
Other festival highlights include Friday night opening ceremonies, a carnival for kids and Saturday’s 6 p.m. Key West Junkanoo Parade featuring the Florida Junkanoo Gawds and the Key West Junkanoos.
6.30pm- Coffee Mill Dance Group Presentation
7:00- The Bubba System (featuring Mr. Coffee Butler)
8:00- The Bahama Village Social Club
9:00- The Newton Street Band
10:00- “Soul Man” Mr. Robert Albury
2:00pm- Caribbean Explosion Band
3:45- Mr. Kenny Miller
5:00- Caribbean Explosion Band
7:15- Tara Lynne-Artist
8:30- Denise Belfon- Artist
The Junkanoo Parade begins at 6:00pm from the MLK pool with the FloridaJunkanoo Gawds & the Key West Junkanoos
In addition, a Bahamian-style j’ouvert — an adults-only music and dance party featuring water, paint and mud — is scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday. Admission to the j’ouvert is $15 per person. For event information, visit http://www.facebook.com/keywestgoom-bay2018/ or call Glenwood Lopez at 770-401-7932