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Tru Tru Festival to be held over two days

The best of Bahamian culture will be showcased over two days for the first time, during the third annual Tru Tru Bahamian Festival.

John Watling’s Distillery will be transformed into a Bahamian village featuring over 70 local vendors, including 20 food vendors, for the event on February 3 and 4.

Entertainment from the Junkanoo Commandos, a live performance from the Royal Bahamas Police Band, maypole plaiting, a kid’s corner and more are scheduled for the festival.

Bahamas Hotel Tourism Association (BHTA) President Carlton Russell said the Tru Tru Bahamian Festival is about all things Bahamian.

“These are creative expressions that climax into beautiful art, tapestry, unique hand creations — all handcrafted in The Bahamas tailored from the treasure of national resources,” said Russell.

“The festival serves to promote and support the incredible wealth of talent that exists in The Bahamas as artisans, musicians, culinarians gather to showcase their every imaginable expression. This year we will enhance the past with the present and help everybody tell the story.”

Pepin Argamasilla, general manager at John Watling’s, said the historic venue is the perfect place to host such an event.

“It’s the perfect place, because this house has been here for over 225 years. Part of what we like about this festival is that, in addition to our regular tours, to be able to bring in different vendors onto the property and be able to create a Bahamian village that’s filled with different artistry, entertainment and all the things that really make up this great country,” he said.

“One of the things I like about this event is that it exposes the venue to people who may not come here regularly. It exposes more of the Bahamian culture that we regularly get,” said Argamasilla.

The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation has sponsored the Tru Tru Bahamian Festival since its inception.

Ellison “Tommy” Thompson, Ministry of Tourism deputy director general, said the ministry is happy the festival will be hosted over two days.

“It gives the vendors more time to make money, and we also have the opportunity to promote it to the cruise lines and we can get more visitors,” he said. “We’ve been working with our PR [public relations] agencies and our international offices to promote the event, and it is going to be permanently displayed on Bahamas.com. We also want to see the festival throughout The Bahamas and not just Nassau.”

The Tru Tru Bahamian Festival will take place 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.