Today’s Editorial June 21: Time for Cayman homecoming

Cayman memories were made in Port Arthur, Texas, Saturday night.

The Chamber of Commerce of Grand Cayman’s Sister City hosted Cayman Night and got a nice surprise.

Organizers expected about 400 people would show up. Instead more than 700 showed up to share in the fun.

The night was held in an effort to revive Port Arthur’s annual Cayman Party, which was discontinued in 1995 when the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau pulled its support.

We were afraid the annual event was gone forever.

But Caymanian Verna Rutherford, who just happens to be president of the Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce, felt the event should be revived, especially after Hurricane Ivan’s devastation to Grand Cayman in September 2004 and Hurricane Rita’s torment on Port Arthur in September last year.

The night turned out to be better than anyone’s expectations.

So many folks showed up that the food ran out. But a Port Arthur eatery stepped in and kept everyone fed.

The performances of Earl LaPierre, The Barefoot Man, Chuck and Barrie Quappe and the OutRigger Band from Texas were exceptional. It was pretty evident that our local musicians had just as much fun as those enjoying their music.

If you get a chance to go see and hear any of our four musicians here at home, do so. You’ll get a real treat.

Plans are in the works for a revival of the annual Cayman Party in Port Arthur, beginning in April or June next year.

In the meantime maybe the Cayman Islands needs to consider having a similar event on Grand Cayman.

We could call it Welcome Home or just Homecoming.

The Caymanians who migrated to Port Arthur and other parts of the US who attended the Cayman Night Saturday all said they had a great time chatting with old friends and family who flew up from Grand Cayman for the event.

It would be nice to have a party here welcoming them back home.

We do so much to entice tourists to visit our islands.

We need to remember that we have friends and kin all over the world who would like a chance to come home and celebrate Cayman with us.

We’re pretty sure Earl, Barefoot, Chuck and Barrie would lend their time and talent for a nominal fee. Their talent was certainly appreciated by those at the Port Arthur event.

The Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce pulled the night together the right way; it depended on financial and volunteer help from local businesses and individuals. They had little more than two months to pull it all together and they did a commendable job.

We’ve got enough individuals and businesses in Cayman who could help put together a homecoming week for our own people.

Give it a think.

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