Two-step to Port Arthur

Pull out your Texas two-steppers and get ready to party Grand Cayman style…in Port Arthur.

The Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce is reviving its annual party celebrating all that is Cayman.

Cayman Night in Port Arthur is scheduled to take place 6.30 – 11.30pm, 17 June 17, at the Carl Parker Center on the Lamar State College – Port Arthur campus in downtown Port Arthur, Texas.

‘We want to highlight the sister-city relationship between Cayman and Port Arthur and will be showing slide shows of the similarities of our hurricane-devastation that we both faced,’ said Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce President Verna Rutherford.

The two cities were dubbed sisters in the 1980s because so many Caymanians – especially seamen – had migrated to Port Arthur.

Back then the Cayman Night in Port Arthur party was an exciting and well-attended event, and it is being revived bigger and better than ever before, she said.

It was so popular with Caymanians that many chartered flights from Grand Cayman to Texas to take part in the festivities.

“It’s been well over a decade since we last performed for this fun event,’ said Cayman’s own George Nowak, aka Barefoot Man. ‘Usually close to 1,000 merrymakers show up for an evening of boot kickin’ , calypso dancin’ and to exchange memories with friends and family.”

Barefoot Man will be there along with Chuck and Barrie, better known as Sea n B, and Earl Lapierre who will cart along his magical steel drum.

‘You can expect a boot-kickin’, calypso-dancin’ good time… Barefoot will perform your favourites, his favourites and the latest from his new cd Gone Coconutz. Flowered shirts and sandals suggested,’ boasts Barefoot Man’s website.

“Port Arthur is a sister city to Cayman. It’s heartwarming too see the gathering of Caymanians from Texas mingle with locals from Cayman for an evening of wholesome fun and dance. Looks like I gotta practice some of my old two-step country songs,” Barefoot said.

The Cayman musicians are set to play lots of Caribbean calypso music and hand-written lyrics, set to a lively rhythm. This laid-back island-style music is described to be ‘like an island drink concoction: a mixture of calypso with a bit of reggae and soca, garnished with a little country and plenty of humor…put it in a blender and you dance to the beat!”

With that in mind, there is sure to be plenty of barefoot dancing, lots of visiting among family and friends, sure to be carried on with delightful Caribbean accents. Dive groups and beach lovers, family and friends will have lots in common to talk about.

Get ready for limbo dancing, a tropical painted toes contest, a treasure trove of trinkets and chances to win tickets to Cayman or a Caribbean cruise.

Everyone attending will even have a chance to see on ongoing slide show of yet another similarity – the bond of knowing what it’s like to re-build and rebound from the devastating effects of horrible hurricanes Ivan that devastated Cayman in September 2004 and Rita, which plummeted through Port Arthur in September 2005. You’ll really know there’s a lot in common when you hear Barefoot’s hit song, My Insurance Man.

Because of the generosity of business sponsors, the Cayman Night in Port Arthur ticket prices are set at a nominal $15 per person. Food, drinks and souvenirs will be available for sale throughout the evening. Tickets can be ordered by e-mail from the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce at [email protected] or by calling (409) 963-1107. A limited number of hotel rooms are blocked at the Holiday Inn Park Central. Tickets, hotel reservations and further information will be available on line after May 15.