More than two-thirds of 1,093 respondents to the most recent caycompass.com online poll think the Pirates Week festival should not change to a heritage-themed festival.
The poll started days after new Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush announced that the government intended to change the name of Pirates Week and make it more culturally themed.
A strong majority of poll respondents (745 people or 68.2 per cent) thought the Pirates Week festival shouldn’t change because it was all in fun and helped the economy.
‘This event symbolized a part of our history and although it seems a bit farfetched, we should not deny ourselves who we came from or what we have accomplished over the years,’ said one person.
‘Many people will still wear pirate costumes,’ said another respondent. ‘If it is called Heritage Week, visitors will link pirates and heritage. Authorities should be more concerned with underage drinking that goes on during the street dances than the name of the week.’
‘Pirates Week was never about glorifying pirates,’ said someone else. ‘Pirates Week was an initiative to boost tourism in the traditional slow season.’
‘We can’t erase our history,’ said another person. ‘If we can make money on it, why not? There is no logic in changing the name but still having pirates. It really makes no sense.’
‘I think the government has more important issues at hand that they need to deal with,’ said someone else. ‘If it is not broken, don’t fix it. The name has been fine for 30 years.’
‘Jim Bodden had a vision,’ said another respondent. ‘America is now copying Pirates Week. Caymanians need to continue to lead.’
Only 181 people (16.6 per cent) thought the Pirates Week name should be changed because we shouldn’t be glorifying pirates and drunkenness.
‘We need to make sure that we change the nature of the event, not just the name,’ said one person. ‘If not, we are explicitly saying that pirates are a celebrated part of our heritage.’
‘I feel that as a Christian country, we should not celebrate Pirates Week or we are Christian for different things and not for all things,’ said another person.
‘It should be changed, but the new name should include Cayman in the title,’ said someone else.
Ninety-seven respondents (8.9 per cent) thought the festival should maintain the pirate theme, but have the name changed.
‘Why not make Pirates Day – which is part of our history like it or not – a part of Heritage Week?,’ asked one respondent.
Fifty-two people (4.8 per cent) thought the whole festival should be cancelled because not many tourists came for it anyway.
‘Pirates Week never drew the tourists like envisioned,’ said one person. ‘Instead, it became an excuse for residents to get drunk and carry on. It caused higher absenteeism at work places, impacting productivity.’
Only 18 people (1.6 per cent) said they did not know if Pirates Week should change to Heritage Week.