Junior Batabano takes centre stage

Batabano is about to explode with
excitement and colour. From Junior Batabano to Shurwayne Winchester &
Y.O.U., the good stuff is kicking off…

Event: Junior Batabano

The Junior Batabano costume street
parade takes place on Saturday, 24 April, and is an opportunity for youngsters
to show how it’s done. With creativity, colour, culture, vibrancy and the
infectious rhythm of the parade, it will be a brilliant taster for the main

Now in its eighth year, it has
developed into a family fun day and T-shirt competition, as well as the parade
through George Town
by kids from local schools dancing to soca music.

The family fun day starts from about
1pm and includes face painting, a bouncy castle, schools selling food and drink
as fundraisers and all sorts of cool stuff, so get there early before all the
cassava cake runs out.

Costumes have been designed by
Richard Bartholomew, a veteran costume designer of Trinidad & Tobago.

The parade, which will be led by
Cayman Islands Scouts and Ms Teen Cayman Jamesette Anglin, leaves from the
glass house at 3pm and goes past the post office before heading down Shedden Road, Harbour Drive and Fort Street then
heading up Edward Street
back to the glass house.

There is a judging stage in front
of the Government Administrative Building where there will be performances to
wow the crowds.

“The lawn of the glass house will
come alive from mid-morning until when we leave at dusk,” said Donna
Myrie-Stephen of Batabano.

Event: Teen Jam

Teen Jam takes place at South Sound
Community Centre on Saturday, 24 April, between 7 and 10pm. It is for those
between ages 12 and 17 and the age range will be strictly enforced for a safe,
enclosed teen-only event.

DJ Yo-Yo is behind the decks
spinning all your favourite tracks.

Events: Swanky International

Band of the Year 2009, Swanky
International’s floats are legendary at Batabano and they’re aiming to break
through the 200 barrier for masqueraders behind their float this year.

The What’s Hot-sponsored float will
be led once more by the soca sounds of Skinny Fabulous, who grabbed the
attention of 160-odd dancers last year.

The Swanky team, said Craig
Frederick, are excited about this year’s Batabano, an event he rates as on a
par with carnivals across the Caribbean and United States.

Not only are the guys and gals
wowing the main parade on 1 May, there are also some new events for the whole

Next Wednesday, 28 April, Swanky
International and Panorama Steel Band introduce the non-alcohol, free admission
Pan by the Bay at Camana Bay – bands from high schools, professionals, food and
drink and raffle prizes are going to make it a night to remember, starting at

The next day, Thursday, there is the
fourth annual Swanky Foam Fete at the beach of Ramada Grand
Caymanian Resort.

“Come join the Swanky crew as we
play in the foam to the best Soca tunes by internationally renowned DJs,” said
Frederick, who explained that the party started at 9pm and that short pants,
flags and whistles were essential.

Then there’s the parade itself –
this year’s theme is Mask-a-Raid and the parade will be kicking off from the
Marquee at 1pm to the sounds of the VIBE/SPIN family – and that double century
of marchers, of course.

Sponsor: Le Classique

Classic by name and nature, Le
Classique’s store on Shedden Road
is an exciting haven of designer evening dresses, superb footwear and
high-class leather accessories.

Administration manager Sally
McNamee said that the store’s office also transforms into the Batabano office.
Ms McNamee said that she has seen the event blossom and grow year on year.

“Le Classique truly becomes the
Batabano headquarters each year and to be honest all the staff here do look
forward to the excitement each year.  Batabano
is unique in name and nature and is our very own Cayman Carnival. I look
forward to the food and the music especially and the costume parade is also
beautiful to watch,” she said.

Sponsor: Cayman Distributors

Cayman Distributors has been
operating for 40 years as a wholesaler of alcoholic beverages and grocery
items. They are looking to expand their grocery side this year and are major
suppliers for a host of familiar goods.

The company’s Gina Kettner said
that sponsoring Batabano meant the company was contributing to the culture of
the Cayman Islands.

“Batabano means showcasing the
creativity and harmony of the people of the Cayman Islands.
We are looking forward to being part of this festival that keeps growing bigger
and better every year,” she said.

Sponsor: Tortuga

Tortuga is the largest duty free
and retail liquor business in the Cayman Islands,
with six locations and a selection of more than 400 wines from round the world.
The family business is also famous for its rum cakes.

The company’s Batabano
participation includes providing TruJuice 100 per cent fruit juices for the Junior
Batabano Carnival March on 24 April and a sponsor of the Swanky International
performance in the Street Parade on 1 May.

“We always look forward to Batabano,”
said Jeremy Ebanks, vice president, Tortuga.

 “It celebrates our Caribbean
culture and is a chance for the entire community to gather to enjoy the festivities.”

Sponsor: DART

Dart Cayman
Islands is made up of a number of companies across several industries
including real estate development, retail, finance and technology. They are
behind the Camana Bay development, which has revolutionised the centre
of Grand Cayman.

DART’s Lynn Smith-Moore said that
the company was proud to sponsor Junior Carnival Batabano.

“This is a wonderful event that
brings the youth of the Cayman Islands together to celebrate their heritage in
the Caribbean and Cayman, and to express
themselves through dancing, music and art.

“We are excited to be involved this
year and hope it will be a tradition for years to come.  The pageantry and
spirit of Junior Batabano is wonderful and we encourage everyone to come out to
attend,” she said.

Sponsor: Radio Cayman

Radio Cayman’s 34 years of
broadcasting make them the community’s station.

Norma McField, director
of broadcasting, said that the station is excited to be a part of some of the
established features of Cayman Carnival Batabano, like the Song Competition as
well as the new Art in the Heart of George Town and Batabano Food Festival, as
well as Junior Batabano.

“Junior Batabano offers a creative
outlet, discipline, the chance to learn new skills and to work together towards
a common goal.

“Cayman Carnival Batabano is one of
the major calendar events which create bonds, not only for those who live here,
but also for the many who travel to the Cayman Islands
each year to be a part of this spectacle. 

“It gives the organisers,
musicians, vendors, band members and patrons a common meeting ground to express
themselves and showcase all that is Batabano and what our Islands have to

“For the wider Caribbean, it is an
invaluable marketing tool, attracting people and providing benefits not just to
these Islands, but the region,” she said.

Sponsor: Butterfield Bank (Cayman)

For over 40 years, Butterfield Bank
(Cayman) has been helping individuals, families and businesses protect, grow
and optimise their financial well-being, explained Rhonda Serrano.

“Supporting arts, culture and our
youth in the Cayman Islands is important to
us. Cayman Carnival Junior Batabano is an exciting, national event that brings
together each of Butterfield’s sponsorship objectives in a fun, creative and
colourful way.

 “We are looking forward to the creativity of
the costumes and the happy, smiling faces of all the children who make the parade
come to life,” said Ms Serrano.

Event: Art in the Heart of George

A fresh, dynamic new addition to
festivities this year, Art in the Heart of George Town will certainly add an
enticing cross-section of local art to the celebrations of Saturday, 1 May. It
takes place in Celebration
Park where merchandise
and art is on sale to the public.

National Gallery director Natalie Urquhart
said that it was a welcome addition to the festivities.

“The National Gallery commends the
Batabano Committee for creating a showcase for the visual arts at this year’s
festival. As well as providing welcome exposure for those participating, this
art market will provide an opportunity for visitors to experience a wide range
of work from some of the island’s most imaginative artists and artisans,” said
Ms Urquhart.

Interested artists may still register
to be a part of Art in the Heart by emailing  [email protected]

Event: Appleton/Jacques Scott Cocktail Competition

Unleash your inner Tom Cruise with
Appleton/Jacques Scott’s Cocktail Competition. Taking place on Thursday, 29
April at Vivendi it will feature music, appetisers and drinks. Which barman
will be the best of the 10 finalists? 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.

“Tickets are $35 and include Appleton and hors
d’ouevres, with the competition encompassing bartenders from around the island
– and the public will also get to judge.

“It’s going to be a lovely evening with
wonderful entertainment in a great setting. It opens the event officially and with
this special recession price we expect it to be a sell out,” said Mrs

Tickets are available from Le
Classique, LIME, Jacques Scott and Funky Tangs.

Event: Song Competition

There are two categories in the
fifth annual Batabano song competition – ages 12 to 19 and 20 to 35, with first
prizes of $750 in each. Second prize is $375.

The overall winner out of both age
groups will win the chance to record a song at Hopscotch Studios.

The deadline is Saturday, 24 April.
Drop off your CD and lyrics of an original composition at Pinnacle Publishing
in the Strand or at Le Classique.

The competition will take place
live at Albert Panton Street
on Friday, 30 April from 7pm to 9pm and will be broadcast live by Radio Cayman.

Contact Kate Allenger for more
information on 925-4104 or [email protected]

Event: Shurwayne Winchester & Y.O.U.,

Friday, 30 April will see the
fabulous Shurwayne Winchester & Y.O.U. take the stage at the historical
library lot – Carnival headquarters.

Gates open at 10pm and dancing and
music will kick Batabano off with a real bang for this red-hot international
band – it truly is going to be one of the highlights of Batabano. All mas bands
and early birds will be able to buy $10 tickets, or it is $15 in advance or $20
at the gate on the night.

Look out for an interview with
Shurwayne in next week’s Weekender.

Junior Batabano: Rotary Club of Grand Cayman; Butterfield; Dart; Tortuga Company; Cayman
Distributors; Caymanian Compass; Tortuga; Z99; Radio Cayman; Ministry of Culture

Batabano: LIME; Ministry of Tourism; Department of Tourism; Cayman Airways;
Pinnacle Publishing; Appleton; Caymanian Compass; Security Centre

Art In The Heart: Radio Cayman; Massive Group; Vision Marketing

Teen Jam: Bodden beverages; Radio Cayman; Le Classique

Cocktail Competition Appleton; LIME

Song Competition: Radio Cayman; LIME; Hopscotch Productions; Cayman Music and Entertainment
Association; A1 Rental; Cayman Screen Print


Going green at Junior Batabano.
Photo: Submitted

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