Celebrating District Heritage

Pirates Week is a fun-filled and family-friendly festival that shows off the creativity, inclusiveness and traditions of the Cayman Islands.  Cayman has a rich and varied history and the popular Heritage Days draw visitors from around the world to each district as they showcase the past, present and future of their own part of the Islands.

As ever with Pirates Week, Cayman’s National Festival, the vitality of the youngsters blends with traditional knowledge. Expect superb local arts, enlightening craft demonstrations, dancing, music, games and utterly delicious local food.

Little Cayman Day
It all kicks off on Saturday, 6 November with Little Cayman Day, where residents of the island – and visitors, of course – will be enthralled. The Float Parade theme this year is Pirates of the 20th Century and prizes will be given for the most outstanding floats.

Fireworks will light up the sky during the dance and prizes will be given for best costume, best dance, Cayman based trivia, and much more. The evening will even include a domino tournament.

George Town, East End and West Bay
On Monday, 15 November, George Town Heritage Day kicks off week two of the festival. The current capital of Cayman is always notable for putting on a great fiesta and will live up to expectations once more with a host of events and attractions.

East End takes up the baton on Tuesday, 16 November, with events suitably situated at Heritage Field from 11am. Expect such things as antiques, medicinal bushes, cave, lighthouse and well tours, coconut oil making, old time games and a rope making demonstration. Music from the likes of Pan-o-rama and North Side Kitchen band will liven things up.

West Bay comes into the spotlight on Wednesday, 17 November at the Heritage Village next to Ed Bush Stadium. The district promises great food, crafts, games, cat boat displays, booths, heritage displays, rope making, Cayman thatch work, storytelling, children and adults treasure hunt, gig spinning, Baby Show, Talent Show, Heritage Queen, old time Church service and lots more. Enough to leave you quite breathless. Caymanian books will be also be on sale by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, while Impulse Band, Panoramas Steel Band and Thanks & Praises Band will provide live music.

North Side and Bodden Town
On Thursday, 18 November North Side Heritage Day takes place at Water Cay Public Park, next to Kaibo. Relive Cayman from yesteryear, learn the art of making rope, wampers, fish-pots and plaiting thatch. Enter the conch blowing competition, climb the grease pole and win a prize. Listen to the latest gossip under the almond tree, sway to our local Kitchen Band, Swanky and the rhythms of the Steel band.

Do you have kids? A special park is outfitted with amusement games just for them. For the culinary connoisseur, taste the mouth-watering local foods and beverages – and you must try the decadent cakes, tarts, jams and jellies.

Top off the night with a bonfire and fireworks displays, as you dance under the stars to the sounds of local entertainment ‘til 2am.

Bodden Town takes centre stage on Friday, 19 November. The oldest settlement on Grand Cayman has much to offer, from tours of the library and pirates caves to treasure hunts, tours of the Mission House, an invitational football tournament, storytelling and pony and horse rides. Arts and crafts, fireworks, dancing and a prize raffle plus a host of fun games and demonstrations will make the day memorable for all the family.

And then there be pirates…
Keep an eye out for the Seattle Seafarer Pirates invading each and every corner of the Island on a regular basis. Each district has a rich and full programme lined up with many more events to be revealed – it’s worth planning a long stay at each event, whether enjoying the morning and afternoon activities or looking forward to the excitement of the evenings. All that’s required is a little forward planning and a healthy chunk of stamina.

Heritage Days are where Pirates Week truly comes alive; an opportunity to celebrate the past whilst enjoying the present and looking forward to a bright future in the sun.   WH

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Jewel Levy