Get ready to jump up at Cayman Carnival Batabano

Cayman Carnival Batabano is in full swing, and revellers can look forward to an exciting line-up of events this weekend.


Batabano continues this evening with the Friday Night Fete and the parade Saturday. Photo: File

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, organisers have promised an event of monumental proportions, with more carnival fun than ever before.

Tonight a slew of international soca stars will gather at the Old Treehouse, at the junction of North Church Street and Eastern Avenue. The line-up includes the renowned Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, award-winning singer and soca king Machel Montano HD and Xtatik band, Trinidad born soca diva Patrice Roberts, Oscar B, Jumo, Zan, Farmer Nappy and local band Coco Red.

Official Batabano wavers will be handed out to the crowd to ensure everyone gets in the party mood.

Donna Myrie Stephen, Batabano committee chairperson, said this is a concert not to be missed.

‘This is a phenomenal line-up – Cayman has never seen so many international soca stars in one concert. This really will be a night not to be missed.’

The party gets underway at 8pm and organisers are encouraging all to get to the West Bay Road venue early to take advantage of limited special offer tickets.

Carnival continues on Saturday with the highlight of Batabano, the eagerly awaited street parade.

This year will see the largest line-up of masqueraders ever with more presence from corporations and government bodies participating than ever before.

‘As we celebrate our 25th anniversary and really come of age, people are now recognising the value and importance of Batabano,’ Donna said.

The colourful parade is scheduled to start at 3pm from the Marquee cinema and make its way along the West Bay Road into George Town, with an estimated arrival time of around 5.30pm.

Costumes this year have been designed by a host of professional carnival costume designers in both Canada and Trinidad.

New this year is the Cardinall Avenue Food Festival, with some 17 participating vendors from local restaurants, which will follow on from the street parade.

Market stalls will be provided by Camana Bay and there will be dedicated areas for people to enjoy their meals.

‘Food is such a big part of our culture,’ Donna said. ‘Instead of people just grabbing something to eat, we wanted to present it in an aesthetically pleasing way.’

Capping off the day will be a street dance on Harbour Drive with a bevy of artists and local DJs playing the latest soca hits.

Donna added: ‘Batabano is a time of year when all residents of Cayman, no matter colour, race or creed, can come together and celebrate the joy of life. This is going to be a carnival to remember.’

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A limited number of tickets for the Friday Night Fete are priced at $35. Regular price is $40 in advance, $50 at the gate. VIP admission is $100 and includes hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Tickets are available from Cable & Wireless stores, Reflections, Funky Tangs and Le Classique stores. Gates open at 8pm.