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Disney Cruise Line joined the community of Eleuthera in Governor’s Harbor on Saturday to celebrate and support this year’s Junior Junkanoo competition. Disney Cruise Line recently increased its funding of Junior Junkanoo Eleuthera by 50%, totaling $75,000, to fund costumes, materials, cash prizes for each participating school and travel costs for the winning Eleuthera team to compete at the national level.

Leading up to the competition, Disney Cruise Line hosted a virtual workshop for students across Eleuthera, connecting them with the Disney entertainment team and acclaimed Bahamian fashion designer Theodore Elyett. Disney Cruise Line recently announced that Elyett designed new Bahamian-inspired outfits for Mickey and Minnie Mouse and their friends to wear at Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point, Disney Cruise Line’s new island destination opening this summer on Eleuthera.

“Disney Cruise Line’s investment is about more than costumes and competition. We want to help preserve this important cultural expression and inspire young people to ensure the Junkanoo tradition continues for years to come,” said Joey Gaskins Jr., regional public affairs director, Disney Cruise Line. “Through connecting students participating in Junior Junkanoo with Disney’s entertainment professionals and Bahamian fashion designer Theodore Elyett, we hope to inspire young Bahamians and show them how their talents can lead to careers in creative industries.”

“For nearly 30 years, I have been living my dream of working in the global fashion industry,” said Elyett. “I hope that sharing my experiences and the path that led me here, encourages the students to think beyond designing a costume and lean into those skills to envision their future in a big way.”

During the competition, as the students performed along Queen’s Highway, the Disney team had the opportunity to see the final costumes and experience the parade while the students proudly performed for their community.

“Disney’s work in the community of Eleuthera is exemplary. The Disney Cruise Line team is focused on inspiring young Bahamians and providing the resources they need to believe in themselves, sharpen their creative skills and follow in the footsteps of the Junkanoos who have come before them,” said Hon. Mario Bowleg, Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture. “We’re excited to welcome Disney to our community, and we appreciate their leadership in youth development.”

“As a teacher in Eleuthera, Disney Cruise Line’s support of Junior Junkanoo is tremendous. With this additional funding, we’ve been able to expand the impact of Junior Junkanoo across our community, and our students took their performances to the next level – proudly showcasing what makes their culture special,” said Melinda Pelecanos, a teacher at Tarpum Bay Primary.

Walt Disney Imagineers drew inspiration from Junkanoo to develop Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point. The destination will offer guests from around the world new ways to enjoy authentically Bahamian experiences and explore Eleuthera and its natural wonders. When guests visit this special destination, they’ll be immersed in the rich culture, warm hospitality, and breathtaking beauty of The Bahamas. Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point will create sustainable economic opportunities for Bahamians, protect the natural beauty of the site, celebrate the Bahamian culture, and help strengthen the community in Eleuthera.

Disney’s support of Junior Junkanoo is part of the Disney Future Storytellers program – The Walt Disney Company’s commitment to empower the next generation of storytellers and innovators. As Disney Cruise Line’s presence in The Bahamas expands, Disney is committed to creating lasting, positive impact in The Bahamas and investing in programs supporting local youth.

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