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Celebrating 30 Years of Jolly!

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas National Trust’s popular annual Christmas festival, “Jollification,” will welcome attendees to The Retreat Garden on Village Road between Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19 from 11am to 8pm.



NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) popular annual Christmas festival, “Jollification,” will welcome attendees to The Retreat Garden on Village Road between Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19 from 11am to 8pm. This year the festival celebrates its 30th Anniversary and will feature over 80 talented artisans with wonderful crafts, jewellery, and gift items on sale.

An exclusive BNT members-only night takes place on Friday, November 17 from 5pm to 9pm. Caribbean Bottling Company is partnering with the BNT to offer a special gift and beverage voucher to those who renew their annual membership or sign up to become a new member on this night.

“This year’s Jollification will truly be a celebration,” said Lakeshia Anderson-Rolle, BNT Executive Director. “This event has supported The Retreat Garden for 30 years. This national park protects an outstanding palm collection and has tremendous potential for increased tourist visitation. Funds raised from Jollification will assist in upgrading the park’s infrastructure to enhance the overall visitor experience. We’re grateful for the contributions of our sponsors, vendors, and patrons, which provides important financial assistance for the maintenance of this very special, urban national park.”

Jollification features some of the finest arts and crafts in The Bahamas, a variety of food, and a tasting of holiday spirits provided by Bristol Wines & Spirits, who will be serving cocktails and bringing back the “infamous” Whiskey Pit with samples from the Dewar’s Distillery; Jimmy’s Wines & Spirits, who will provide cold brews all day long and evening entertainment; and Caribbean Wines & Spirits, who will offer a fine selection of wines and Besserat de Bellefon Champagne.

Patrons can anticipate the return of one of Jollification’s most popular areas, the “Jolly Market,” with homemade jams, jellies, cakes, jewelry, chocolates, and wonderful straw designs from a number of artisans. There will also be many new vendors, such as the Exuma Arts Network, IKAN Handmade Designs, Cherez Henfield, Kimberly Roberts, and Bahama Dawn.

The festival’s “Plant Area” will showcase a unique selection of orchids, bromeliads, succulents, annuals, native trees, and other diverse offerings for sale. And the “Jolly Raffle” promises to be bigger and better than ever with prizes from Commonwealth Bank, Bahamas Wholesale Agencies, Marlin Marine, Comfort Suites, Bon Vivants, Aquapure, and more.

Children at the event can participate in the “Children’s Crafts” area, sponsored by Asa H. Pritchard and Blue Bird Juice, which will feature nature-oriented games, photo opportunities with a Bahamian boa, and a special Junkanoo cut-and-paste craft area coordinated by the Genesis TeenHawks, with support from Woodside Insurance.

This year’s Jollification will have a variety of chefs providing Bahamian and international cuisine to ensure no one goes hungry.

The Batter Girls will serve their delicious conch fritters; the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church will provide gyros and everyone’s favorite Greek pastry, baklava; Philippine Delights will offer unique Asian flavor; Lil Laura’s will handmake delicious, fresh fruit smoothies; and Taste of Jamaica will tempt you with authentic Jamaican cuisine. For those who just want an old-fashioned hamburger, The Rotary Club of East Nassau will be serving their famous hamburgers.

Historically the idea of the first Retreat Committee – who sought a fundraiser that could support the unique garden – early Jollifications were small occasions with no more than 20 vendors. BNT Volunteer George Kelly thought of adding a sampling of holiday spirits, and the event grew in popularity.

With this growth, it became more challenging to find volunteers specifically to manage the gate and handle finances. When Commonwealth Bank indicated their interest to sponsor, they also became the finance managers for the event.

BNT Council President Geoff Andrews said, “Commonwealth Bank is an amazing sponsor, and while we certainly appreciate this, it’s their staff volunteerism that makes this partnership so special. These keen bankers will once again be at the gates to welcome patrons to this year’s milestone Jollification.”

“Jollification is the creation of many people, volunteers and donors,” said organizer Lynn Gape of the BNT. “I am often asked why it’s so popular, and it’s difficult to pinpoint the answer. Some people say they love that it begins the holiday season; and others comment that it brings people together, reuniting old friends who haven’t seen each other for a while. Whatever the reason, we’re looking forward to welcoming friends to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Jollification with us here at the BNT.“

Join the BNT for their Christmas “Jollification” on November 18 and 19 at The Retreat Garden on Village Road. Admission is $10 for BNT Members; $15 for the general public; and $5 for children ages 5 to 17 years. For more information, contact Lynn Gape at (242) 393-1317 or

Other Jollification supporters not previously mentioned include: Summit Insurance, Bahamas Waste, Bahamia Rental, ALIV, and Expressions Entertainment.

To learn more about the role the BNT plays in managing terrestrial and marine national parks, conserving wildlife, and informing environmental policy, please visit its website: and follow/subscribe to its various social media channels: Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, and YouTube.