It’s that time of year again when pirates are getting ready to invade the Cayman Islands, with the resulting adventures, fun and entertainment the treasure ready for the taking.
This year, once more, Pirates Week will bring the usual district heritage days and sporting events, mock pirates landing, fireworks, street dances and parade.
‘Pirates Week is basically a tried and true formula over 30 years,’ explained Executive Director of Pirates Week Dave Martins.
But for this year’s Pirates Week, for which Cayman Free Press is a sponsor, there are also some new and exciting events on the schedule.
Something new to look forward to this year is a cycling event which includes the Cycling Criterium race taking place in downtown George Town, organised by the Cayman Islands Cycling Association.
The Criterium will start from Harbour Drive on Saturday, 8 November around 12.30pm, before the pre-landing entertainment. It will feature some top international professional riders such as Tour de France finalists Christian Vandevelde and Peter Luttenburg, along with many regional riders.
The pre-landing entertainment that follows on Harbour Drive at 2pm has also been expanded. George Town Primary students will feature prominently as approximately 50 youngsters, in colourful original costumes, will perform three dances on the open-air stage, organised by George Town Primary dance teacher Soraya
Funded by the Ministry of Culture in the interest of encouraging performing talent in Cayman, the one-hour slot will also feature two local singers (Jamesette Anglin and Rico Orrett) the Tassa Drummers, and a masquerade presentation. It will be followed by a waterboard exhibition, produced by Red Bull, before the Landing proper.
Mr. Martins said, ‘Local talent often suffers from a lack of venues to display their ability, so it’s good that we can offer this showcase.’
The cardboard boat race has also expanded this year and it takes place on Saturday, 15 November. ‘It started last year and it was a hit right away,’ said Mr. Martins.
The musical element of the festival is definitely something to look forward to this year.
‘We’re bringing in the two lead singers from the Byron Lee band, Oscar B and Jumo, to perform with Imij and Co.,’ explained Mr. Martins. This happens on Friday, 7 November and Saturday, 15 November.
There will also be 10 local bands playing over the three street dance nights.
Another change this year is that the George Town District Day will be held at a new location, Cardinal Avenue, on Thursday, 13 November.
Also, the West Bay District Day will this year be held at new location Boatswain’s Beach on Monday, 10 November.
The public can also look forward to some very special fireworks this year. Fireworks Ltd., an affiliate of the Massive group, are doing it all locally.
‘Before, a company from the US shipped in the product and sent operators here for the festival, but now that this is all being done on-island, all the money is going into the actual product,’ explained Display Co-ordinator with Fireworks Ltd. Gene Trott, who himself has over 25 years experience in the fireworks industry.
‘This is probably going to be one of the best shows Cayman has ever seen,’ he said.
Giving a couple of examples of what people have to look forward to, Mr. Trott said that special colour sequences will feature with use of red, white, blue and green for the colours of Cayman and another slot featuring gold.
The first Friday, 7 November, is the big fireworks night at 7.30pm on Harbour Drive. There is a smaller version on the evening of Saturday, 15 November.
Other highlights of the festival include two costume competitions, Miss Festival Queen and the Pirate Costume competition, along with the Songfest and the usual Trial of the Pirates fun.
The district heritage days are the usual combination of food, culture, entertainment and costume.
Get primed for Cayman’s showpiece festival at the Pirates Week Kick-off Bash on Thursday, 6 November at The Wharf. Sponsored by What’s Hot magazine, Vibe 98.9FM and SPIN, the evening will feature live music by Heat, great giveaways and the marauding Seattle Sea Fair Pirates. Doors open at 8pm. Cover charge $5. Pirates Week continues to 22 November.