Get ready for Cayman Carnival Batabano

It’s colourful, vibrant, exciting,
and masses of fun. Since 1983 Cayman Carnival Batabano has become one of the
highlights of the entertainment calendar of Cayman. A carnival of the like that
only the Caribbean can pull off, Batabano is a cultural kaleidoscope of music,
dance and pageantry and the main event takes place from 29 April to 1 May.

It reflects the diverse historical
influences on the Caribbean over the years rooted in African and religious influences.

It’s also a chance for everybody to
get dressed up in outrageously ornate costumes and join in a major parade that
truly represents the melting pot of cultures and nations that live in Cayman.

Be it corporate groups, different
Caymanian districts or otherwise, the main carnival is a feature of ever-more
complex choreography and fantastically fabulous costumes. It’s a celebration of
culture at an international and local level, and proof that there really is nothing
like a great party to bring people truly together.

If the kids are united

There’s also a Junior Batabano
parade on Saturday, 24 April, where the youngsters will get a chance to show
the oldies how it’s done. The Batabano committee expects more than 12 junior
and schools bands to participate in this costume street parade – all have been
given official permission by the Education Department to participate.

It will start at the Glass House
lawn and go through George Town to return for a family fun day including food,
face painting and rides for the kids. Currently a T-shirt design competition is
being held with the winner having their design put on the official Junior Batabano
T-shirt – winners announced on the day, said Donna Myrie of Batabano Committee.

“The Rotary club of Grand Cayman
introduced Batabano to the Cayman Islands 27 years ago and are now a major
sponsor of Junior Batabano. Butterfield, Dart Realty and the Ministry of
Education, all 2009 sponsors of Junior Batabano, are welcomed to continue their
support in 2010,” she added.

Hey
Mr. DJ

This year a series of fundraisers
will take place in advance of the main parade. A series of soca-themed boat
trips will take place monthly, with the hottest DJs spinning the coolest tunes
to a strictly exclusive audience. There are trips on 20 March and 17 April.

Anne Mason, marketing supervisor at
Cayman Free Press, said the carnival is a vital part of Caymanian life and that
the company are delighted to be involved.

“Batabano is the most colourful expression
of Cayman life of the year, bringing all aspects of the community together in a
vibrant party for all ages. The Caymanian Compass is once again pleased to sponsor
this annual event and cover the run up and carnival days fully in the paper and
online at caycompass.com,” she said.

There are plenty of events going on
to whet the appetite over the next few weeks including a scavenger hunt on 27
March.

For those more of a musical bent, a
song competition will be held. More details will be announced in the Caymanian
Compass – the competition is open for those of age 12 and upwards, said Donna
Myrie.

“The Batabano committee welcomes
the music association and Hopscotch as the newest sponsors to come on board
with a cash prize and studio time towards the winner of the 2010 Batabano song
competition Check out also the Z99 Easter Egg Hunt at Camana Bay on Saturday 3
April.”

Whole lotta shakin’

Cayman Carnival Batabano weekend
itself has many exciting aspects including the International Appleton Cocktail
Competition on Thursday, 29 April, which will feature music, appetisers and
drinks.

It’s going to feature a cocktail
competition between barmen to find the best cocktail-maker using Appleton rum.
The 10 finalists will be whipping up their best creations, which will be
sampled and scored. Prizes will be provided by sponsors LIME. The event takes
place in conjunction with Jacques Scott, distributors for Appleton on Cayman.
The winner will then go on to an international final.

Aside from the main parade, there
will also be arts and crafts stalls on 1 May and as ever the food festival
which will be a mixture of delicious local treats and for the first time some
international cuisine could well make an appearance.

Look out too for the famous Swanky
International float – the mas band is guaranteed to attract a huge amount of masqueraders
– as you’d expect from an outfit named after the famous Caymanian drink.

The Cayman Carnival Batabano
committee is urging adult bands to sign up to the parade as soon as possible,
said Donna Myrie.

“Sponsorship opportunities are
still available and any interested company may contact the Batabano committee
or email [email protected] with
their interest for a sponsorship package,” she added.

Schedule of events:

March

Saturday, 20 March – Soca Boat
Cruise

Friday, 26 March – Bar Hop &
Scavenger Hunt pre-registration at Oar House

Saturday, 27 March – Scavenger hunt

April

Saturday, 3 April – Z99 Easter Egg
Hunt at Camana Bay

Friday, 9 April – Bar Hop

Friday, 16 April – Bar Hop

Saurday 17 Apil – Soca Boat Cruise

Friday, 23 April – Bar Hop

Saturday, 24 April – Junior
Batabano

Thursday, 29 April – Coctail
Competition

Friday, 30 April – Batabano Song
Competition and Street Fete

May

Saturday, 1 May – Street Parade;
Art in the Heart; Food Festival; Street Fete

June

Saturday, 26 June – Z99 Full Moon
Hunt at Britannia Golf Course

CAYMANLIFECaymanCarnivalSTORY

In the pink at Batabano.
Photo: Stephen Clarke
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