Cayman Carnival Batabano back in Technicolor

Anyone who’s ever got the urge to get on down and throw some shapes will be in heaven with the crowning glory of the street parade.

Technicolor treats, effervescent energy and passionate parades loom once more as Cayman Carnival Batabano gets under way.
Batabano was first launched in 1983 by the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman and has been a much-anticipated annual event since then. If you were wondering, the word batabano comes from the marks that turtles leave in the sand – a unique word for a unique country and a unique event.

Party time
April features a host of activities. There are bar hops scheduled for Friday 9, Friday 16 and Friday 23 April, with a Soca Boat Cruise slotted in on Saturday 17 April. The cruise will feature top notch DJs blasting out some of the most fabulous soca tunes to a delighted audience. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 on the dock and it’s strictly for over 18s.

Fun
Junior Batabano parade, for the under 18s, takes place on Saturday 24 April. The youngsters will be well up for showing the world what the new generation can do, with a parade through George Town culminating in a family fun day with all sorts of cool stuff including food, face painting, bouncy castles and much more.
On the day, too, the results of the T-shirt design competition will be announced. It’s the eighth year of the Cayman Carnival Junior Batabano, one week before the main event takes place.

Head
Things come to an exciting head with the awesome street fete, parade, art in the heart and food festival on Saturday 1 May, the culmination of activities that have been revving up across Cayman since March.
Anyone who’s ever got the urge to get on down and throw some shapes will be in heaven with the crowning glory of the street parade, where district groups, work colleagues, community groups, friends and businesses join together looking to offer ever-more elaborate choreography and outdo each other’s costumes. There will be a host of prizes for the very best, so expect this year’s to be bigger, brighter and more irresistible than ever before.

Superb
Carnival is a Caribbean concept unlike any other, and Batabano takes that tradition and gives it a distinctly Caymanian twist.
Grand Cayman is the archetypal cultural melting pot, with over 100 nationalities living on-island, so the casual observer is likely to experience as many different angles on the cultural tradition as there are participant groups. There really is nothing like it.
Also on the day expect a host of superb local food vendors setting up to offer their wares – traditional Caymanian foods including turtle, oxtail and, no doubt, cow foot plus, for the first time this year, a host of international foods that truly do showcase the magnificent range of cuisine that Cayman can boast, plus art to gladden the heart right there in town.
Batabano is all about expression: of culture, dance, history and different backgrounds. The picture that these kaleidoscopic hues come together to create is a beautiful one of shared joy in the similarities between the diverse people that go to make up the Cayman Islands. And that is well worth celebrating – as if anyone needed an excuse to party in the first place.
The event is sponsored by LIME, the Caymanian Compass, the Department of Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Education and Culture, Cayman Airways, Appleton, Butterfield Bank, DART Management and the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman.

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Photo: Stephen Clarke