30th Pirates Week a treasure

For this year’s 30th anniversary of Pirates Week there will be some special hidden treasures to be discovered.

The festival this year runs from 8 to 18 November.

Aside from the usual events, there are a couple of new events coming on stream for the 30th year.

A special honouring of contributors to the festival will be a unique feature, said Executive Director of Pirates Week Dave Martins.

‘Specifically for the 30th year we’re identifying 30 people who have contributed significantly over time to the festival, going back to its beginning. Some of those people have passed on, but nonetheless we are identifying them.’

Although these people have been chosen, the names are not being released until August, Mr. Martins said.

They will be honoured at a function being held at a major hotel the weekend before the festival begins. ‘It will be a sort of a combination celebration-dinner evening with entertainment and the highlight will be presenting plaques to these 30 people or somebody representing them.’

Ideas are being worked out with major sponsor Digicel for promotions on the same 30-year theme.

Other new features coming on board, although not directly flowing from the 30th year, include a 40-piece high school marching band – St. Judes Marching Band from Kingston, Jamaica. This band has been national champion in Jamaica several times. The marching band does a lot of acrobatics also and has an impressive drum section with about 30 drums. The drums will be worked into the pre-landing entertainment, Mr. Martins said.

The band will be here for the first weekend, participating in the parade on Saturday, 10 November, and on Sunday, 11 November, it will do a gospel concert in the George Town area.

‘Co-incidentally, we found out that they are celebrating their 30th anniversary also, so it’s a good time,’ Mr. Martins commented.

Some stilt walkers from Trinidad are also being brought here for this year’s festivities. Previously there have been stilt walkers from Barbados participating.

A comedic juggler will also be part of the fun. ‘He does a lot of stuff that would fit into the pre-landing entertainment section. He does juggling swords, a walk the plank act; he’s very funny and entertaining,’ Mr. Martins said.

The juggler will also be involved in the children’s fun day on Sunday, 11 November.

Laser effects will be a feature this year, as they were the year before last, in an evening show from Breezes by the Bay.

Red Bull is bringing back the Air Force Parachute team, which impressed all with parachute jumps last year. They will also feature in the parade and another event this year.

A bicycle staging race will also take place again, having stopped a few years back. It looks like this will be on the last Saturday of the festival, 17 November, said Mr. Martins.

On Thursday, 15 November, the local Motorsports Association will put on an automobile dexterity competition in a car park in George Town. Cars will have to go through a timed obstacle course against the clock.

Negotiations are still ongoing for the visiting entertainment band, with two possibilities from Trinidad and one from Barbados.

Alongside the new features in this year’s festivities, Pirates Week will be the usual multi-faceted event with all the usual features included, with sports, cultural events, heritage events, fireworks show, song competition, costume contests, street dances, food festival days, children’s day.

Also, there is a Little Cayman Day on Saturday, 3 November, and Cayman Brac events on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 November.

Visit www.piratesweekfestival.com for details on the festivities.

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