Friday, October 22, 2004

It's Goombay Time!

Today is the first day of Key West's annual Goombay Festival. I have some errands to run, so this will be brief.

In Key West, Goombay is the traditional introduction to Fantasy Fest week, but is a popular festival all on its own, one that springs from the traditions of the Caribbean -- The Bahamas, Bermuda, and Jamaica. Here, it is a street fair that runs from Friday night at 6:00 and all day on Saturday. I passed by Petronia St., Goombay's Main Street, on my way back from dropping Janet at work. She's going to take a bus home so that we can leave the car in its parking place for the rest of the day. There isn't a lot of parking here in Bahama Village. Most of it is marked Residential, but any one from Key West can park in those spots, so we'll be having lots of competition for the few spots that'll be available.

I'm going out at around noon to take some pictures of the Bahama Village Music Program booth, and of an open air market just up the street from us on Truman Ave. The market is alongside the Lofton Sands African Bahamian Museum and Resource Center, a quiet museum that I've never gone to visit. I'll be working at the BVMP booth for about three hours tomorrow afternoon, a good opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of Goombay at a less-busy time. The festival kicks it up a notch in the evenings, with bands, stilt-walkers, and buskers on the sidewalks here and there. People traffic is shoulder to shoulder on the four blocks of Petronia St. from Duval to Emma, and a big crowd gathers at the main stage in the 800 block of Emma.

There was an article in the New York Times Travel section a couple of days ago that talks about Fantasy Fest in particular and about Key West's reputation as a city that gives visitors license to do things that they probably wouldn't do, and might not tolerate, in their own home towns. I posted it up at Its Only Key West for discussion.

Time to go now. I may have more to say later.

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