There is literally nothing like it in the Caribbean – the magnificent, fun, family-friendly, silly, historical, beautiful, firework-flashing Pirates Week.
Yes, folks, for 10 whole days this November the streets will be alive with music, laughter, pageantry and perfect play.
It all begins on Thursday, 8 November with the Pre-Pirates Week Happy Hour at Breezes by the Bay. That’s a good place to be from 5.30pm to 9pm, not least because you’re in prime position for the 7pm kick-off of the Steel Pan Competition at Harbour Drive. Up West Bay Road, you could head to The Westin Sand Off Caribbean Buffet from 7pm, then at 9pm there are live bands, pirate arrivals and more at The Wharf’s own pre-party.
Friday’s first event is the Pirates Week 5K run – register from 3.30pm for the 5pm start. It’s Happy Hour at Hard Rock from 5.30pm and Miss Festival Queen brightens things up at 6pm. Legendary fireworks are at 7.30pm then it’s the street dance and food festival for the rest of the first evening.
Saturday sees more of the same; the 5K sea swim is at 8am for the early birds then pre-landing entertainment at Hog Sty Bay features dance, music and Red Bull divers from 2pm. The Landing Pageant kicks off at 3pm sharp: will the Pirates manage to capture the governor for their nefarious schemes?
Be part of the action and find out! Immediately after the landing is the Float Parade, which this year has the festival theme of Historical Shipwrecks and Cayman Treasures. Now, treasure takes many forms here in paradise so expect the flora and fauna to be represented as much as the shiny coins of yore.
From 7pm the street dance and food festival resumes and for the youngsters the Cayman Craft Market once more hosts the very popular Teen Up Teen Disco, where our younger generation can bust a move in a safe environment.
Sunday’s a cracker with the Children’s Fun Day at Camana Bay from midday to 4pm. Always a hit with parents and kids alike, there are numerous ways to join in the fun plus raffles, refreshments and loads of cool stuff. From 1pm to 4pm up at Divetech, West Bay, the annual Underwater Treasure Hunt always draws a crowd of divers and funlovers.
Who will find the pieces of eight? Whose costume will be best? Only one way to find out here too. Come 4pm at Safehaven and 150 cute little turtles will be released to find their way to a better life in the wild.
Wild but for different reasons is the Wet Fete at Spotts Dock, which begins at one minute past midnight as Sunday turns into holiday Monday. Come ready to party!
The following week is full of Heritage Days, as each district of Grand Cayman takes the opportunity to showcase their history, food and people. Monday – North Side; Tuesday – Bodden Town/Savannah; Wednesday – George Town; Thursday – East End; Friday – West Bay. Report back to us on who got the best rundown nah?
Also going on during the week is the brilliant Mike Lockwood Memorial International Swim Meet at Lions Pool. It begins at 3.30pm on Wednesday, 13 November and runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
All of which brings us to Saturday, 17 November which begins at 8.30am with the Under 12s Circuit Race, which is becoming a most popular event for the upcoming athletes.
At 2.30pm the Stand Up Paddle Board Race should bring some giggles in Hog Sty Bay as a delicious appetizer to the hilarious main course at 4.15pm. Intrepid makers and sailors alike take to the water for the extraordinary Cardboard Boat Race. Who will have the most elaborate creation? Who will fall in? Who will win? Who cares who wins? It’s just silly, creative and quite brilliant.
Saturday continues with the young chefs of Cayman competing the finale of the Snapper Cook Off at 6pm, then at 7pm Title Sponsors SaxonMG will be giving away oodles of prizes including a brand new car – yes, you read that right.
The Pirates are brought to task for their reprehensible behavior at 7.40pm in the annual Sentencing of the Pirates, just before more fireworks and the concluding street dance and food festival, plus another teen disco at the Craft Market, again from 7pm.
The Jerry Harper 10K Run kicks off Sunday at the pirate-unfriendly hour of 7am and then finally there’s the Mickey Mouse Darts Tournament at Mango Tree, another very popular annual event.
As a bonus, from Friday, 23 November to Sunday, 25 November Cayman Brac holds its own Pirates Week celebrations to keep the party going.
There’s fun for all at Pirates Week; be it athletic prowess, local food, Johnny Depp-lookalikes, creative costumes, floats and seafaring silliness there’s literally something for everybody. Arrrr, but ‘tis a fine festival an’ no messin’.
For more information visit piratesweekfestival.com