Pirates Week changes would be gradual

If Pirates Week is to be changed at all it will be a very gradual transition, Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford said recently.

And transitioning is something that is being looked at in more detail, he noted.

Mr. Clifford was speaking at the recent PPM National Council Meeting in West Bay Monday evening.

He was speaking in response to a question from a member of the public about whether the government has considered dropping Pirates Week for a more heritage-style week.

Mr. Clifford was told that Caymanians are disheartened by the annual Pirates’ Week festivities.

She said they are not related to pirates, and nor should they celebrate people who are murderers and thieves.

‘There’s absolutely nothing to say this is a culture our forefathers had anything to do with,’ she said.

Rather, she would like to see the time used as a heritage week to develop appreciation for indigenous culture.

Mr. Clifford was asked if Government has thought about dropping Pirates Week, as she personally had not seen any increase in tourists to the island during the festivities.

Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford said the Ministry has been looking at the whole issue of national festivals and a group is to be put together to look at the reinventing of national festivals, with a view to making them more Caymanian.

He pointed out that during Pirates Week the various district days are called Heritage Days and this is exactly what they are, a showcasing of Cayman’s heritage.

Pirates Week, he said, has been in existence since the 1970s and it has built up a certain amount of equity.

However, if it was to be changed it would be a gradual transition, he remarked.

This year Pirates Week is to be held nearly two weeks later than usual, a decision taken earlier this year by the Ministry of Tourism in order to lessen the chances of rain during the festival.

It will run this year from Thursday 9 November to Sunday 19 November with the usual combination of street dances, district days, landing pageant, float parade, fireworks show, festival queen costume competition, songfest, trial of the pirates, sports events and teenage and kids’ activities.

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