Cayman Carnival Batabano is here

The long wait is finally over and
the creativity, energy and excitement of Batabano is upon us. Song contests,
superb concerts, art and effervescence come together in a soca-soaked and
sparkly celebration of life.

Event: Batabano

The main costume street parade this
year kicks off at 3pm, so whatever you do; do not be late with your masquerade
gear and ready-to-shimmer hips.

Batabano is a beautifully-inclusive,
noisy, vibrant, colourful melange of smiles and dance moves that will always
raise excitement for all Cayman Islanders, locals and visitors alike.

The masquerade parade starts at
Marquee, heading then toward Harbour Drive and Cardinal Avenue to eventually
end at the Carnival Capital at the historic library lot.

 The costumes will be stunningly-colourful, the
floats fabulous and the atmosphere crackling with the visceral vibe of being
alive. Whether a participant or an interested observer, the costume parade is a
must-see; this is Cayman life at its finest.

Carnival Capital will host the
awards presentations with bands playing until midnight when Batabano 2010
concludes in all its gleeful energy. The celebrations also include a food
festival and street fete. Local band Blueprint will also be performing alongside
international DJs and guest artists.

Timings are crucial – after all,
you wouldn’t want to miss a minute of the fun – so make sure you get a good
spot and a good bottle of water to cool you down. It’s gonna be hot, hot hot,
in more ways than one.

Carnival Central is the centre of
operations and as another sun-blessed day slides into another evening of
delight, new friends and old will party together with the joy of celebrating
all cultures that make the Cayman Islands a
true paradise.

Event: Food Festival

On Albert Panton Street,
20 vendors will be on hand to sell a variety of delicious local dishes to the
hungry public.

“There will be tables and chairs on
hand so that people can really enjoy their gastronomic delights,” said Donna
Myrie-Stephen.

Event: Art in the Heart of George
Town

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. It takes place in Celebration Park where merchandise and art, crafts,
pottery and more are on sale to the public.

Radio Cayman will also be
broadcasting live from the location.

Event: Song Competition & Friday Night Fete

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. The second prize is $375.

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

The competition will take place live
at the historical library lot – Carnival Capital – on Friday, 30 April from 7pm
to 9pm and will be broadcast live by Radio Cayman.

The event is free.

Event: Represent Concert with 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. The concert begins at 10pm, following a
short site shut-down after the song competition concludes.

The artist from Tobago
has been in music since an early age, writing lyrics at the age of 12. He broke
through with Caribbean Traffic Jam, with whom he performed at a previous
Batabano, he said.

“The energy and vibe of the
audience was good. I enjoyed it then but will love it now with the new elements
added to the brand Shurwayne Winchester,” he said.

Although he did not get to see the
island on that previous visit, he is looking forward to returning with his new
band, Y.O.U. – Yes One Unit.

“I am looking forward to performing
for the ladies and making up in general for the time absent from my second home
in my heart. Expect an energetic and dynamic show that is 95 per cent for the
ladies, five per cent for the guys; all the hits you know and those you need to
learn.

“At every performance there is a
surprise and new tracks are a must in my shows. So be ready to leave satisfied
with both old present and new tracks,” said the musician.

He added that the only things
necessary for a great show were Shurwayne Winchester and Y.O.U. and an
audience.

“Everything else is as added
flavour,” smiled the soca star.

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.

Tickets are available from Funky
Tang’s, Reflections, LIME and Le Classique, which is now situated in its new
location on Mary Street.

Sponsor: Rotary Club

The
Rotary Club started Batabano in 1983 and have supported it ever since. Without
the support of Rotary Club Cayman Carnival Batabano would not have developed
into one the Caribbean’s greatest parties.

The
link-up continues to be at the heart of all things Carnival, explained representative
Peter Broadhurst.

“We
are pleased to have assisted this national festival over the years and believe
that it has attained a solid platform in Cayman history under the able stewardship
of Donna Myrie and her most able volunteers.

“We
wish the entire Batabano crew another wonderful year on the road,” Mr.
Broadhurst said.

Sponsor: Cayman Islands Music and
Entertainments Association

The Cayman Music and Entertainment
Association is the governing body of music and entertainment in the Cayman Islands. It was established in 1983 under a
mandate to unify the local music industry, whilst promoting and
protecting the interest of its members. Membership has grown to 130, said
Jean-Eric ‘Notch’ Smith, president.

“As sponsors of the Batabano Song
Competition, it is our pleasure to contribute our expertise and partner with
such a wonderful opportunity to not only expose our established local musicians
but also to discover new and coming talent.

“We look forward to the future of
the song competition, which has only now started to bud, and the day
when more local musicians will take centre stage in our
carnival,” he added.

Sponsor: Jacques Scott/Appleton

Jacques Scott Group is Cayman’s
oldest and largest drinks distributor. Formed in 1962, Jacques Scott has been
serving Cayman ever since, said Barnaby Richardson.

“We very much see Batabano as one
of those events that aid in the enjoyment of Caymanians’ lives. Appleton
Estate has long been associated with Batabano as the rum of choice for the
island. Over the last four years we have looked to cement that relationship to
become the spirit of Batabano in more ways than one.

“We have looked to involve all sections
of the Cayman society and created, along with LIME events and an Appleton drink that represents
the creativity, freedom and excitement that Appleton Estate and Batabano brings
to the island. Now get on da road and enjoy yourself – let’s show that Cayman
does Carnival like no other!” said Mr. Richardson.

Jacques Scott/Appleton were
sponsors of Thursday night’s Cocktail Competition.

Sponsor: Pinnacle Publishing and Marketing

Award-winning Pinnacle Publishing
and Marketing has been serving the Cayman Islands
for more than 17 years.  As part of the
company’s commitment to the community, Pinnacle has been a long-time sponsor of
Batabano, explained director Vicki Legge.

“The festival is an exciting, fun
way to celebrate the culture and creativity of the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean as a whole. 
The involvement of so many companies and community groups demonstrates
the appeal of this unique event and the willingness of so many people to give
of their time to make it a success.

“Every year the carnival offers a
colourful and musical testament to the ability and enthusiasm of the diverse
cultures that comprise the Cayman Islands. Pinnacle
is proud to continue to be a part of this great tradition,” said Ms Legge.

Sponsor: Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa

Nestling on the edge of the
Caribbean sea, Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa is a famous part of the Seven Mile
Beach strip. Their Sunday
brunch is legendary and always popular. Food and beverage director Carl Goldner
said that the resort was very happy to be involved.

“Batabano is a great event to
showcase the different cultures of the Caribbean
countries. It brings together our valued guests and locals, alike, to celebrate
together during these days.

“The Westin Casaurina Resort &
Spa is a proud sponsor since the beginning of Batabano and we are looking
forward to continue this partnership for the future,” he said.

Sponsor: The Security Centre

The Security Centre Limited is
Cayman’s largest full-service security and life-safety company.

The Security Centre’s sponsorship
includes extensive security coverage during Junior Batabano, Teen Jam crowd
control and access point security for Batabano 2010.

“The energy of Cayman Carnival
Batabano is great and everyone enjoys the event. We want to do our part in
assisting the police to ensure that all the spectators can enjoy the fun in a
safe environment without incident,” said operations manager Maria McLean.

Sponsor: Coconut Car Rentals

Coconut Car Rentals has been
providing quality rental vehicles and service since 1971, from the economy-minded
and business executive, to families and large groups, explained General Manager
Tom Kirkconnell.

“It’s a time when locals and
tourists alike can let their hair down and just enjoy the festival.  Not
only is it a time for the island to come together, but also welcome people from
around the Caribbean to enjoy it with
us. 

“Not many people know that Mudders
International was started right here on our shores and has exploded throughout
every Caribbean carnival, especially in Trinidad. 

“Every year the costumes get more
detailed, music trucks get bigger, and each section grows.  I’m looking
forward to the day that Cayman Carnival “Batabano” will be one of the largest
carnivals in the Caribbean and to be able to
say that we were a part of it all,” he noted.

Sponsor: Cayman Screen Print

Cayman Screen Print has been
serving the Cayman Islands for 14 years and
offer a discount to non-profit organisations, churches, schools and all
government departments.

“Batabano Carnival means a time of togetherness
and enjoyment for the all residents and their families.

It’s a family event where each
individual young or old can either participate or support;  and it is also
additional advertisement for the company, not to mention that it attracts
visitors to our Islands.

“The continued effort on behalf of
the committee and participants who spend quality time to bring this event to us
deserves the utmost appreciation so that they will continue to bring us this
quality family entertainment yearly,” said Maxine Bodden, customer service.

Sponsor: Cayman 27

Broadcasting since 1992, Cayman 27
is dedicated to delivering reliable, timely news and information into the homes
of their viewers while fostering a sense of community, explained General Sales
Manager, Michael Keese.

“The children’s parade and the many
events leading up to Batabano have a way of bringing people from different
walks of life together.

“The always colourful event
reflects the Islands’ unique heritage and the
multi-cultural society in which we live, and that is what we look forward to
the most – the celebration of our differences and the connections that bind us
together,” he said.

Sponsor: Broadhurst Barristers

Broadhurst LLC is a seasoned
multi-jurisdictional litigation and commercial boutique, doing business in and
from the Cayman Islands. They are available as
litigation counsel for advice and representation before all courts and administrative
tribunals in the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean region, and are networked in Canada, the United
States, and London,
England.

“Broadhurst Barristers wishes Donna
Myrie and her very able crew of volunteer assistants another excellent Batabano
event this year,” said Peter Broadhurst.

“It is a great pleasure to be able
to assist such a fine group of people who are so dedicated to the development
and continuation of Cayman’s uniqueness and heritage. Have a wonderful day and
let’s hope there’s no rain on your parade!”

Sponsor: Department of Tourism

The Cayman Islands Department of
Tourism is a public sector agency charged with short and medium term responsibility
for the strategic planning and general destination management for the Cayman Islands tourism industry.

 Acting Director of Tourism Shomari Scott said
that the Department of Tourism has been, and continues to be, supportive of all
local events that celebrate the history and culture of the Cayman
Islands.

Not only is the name Cayman
Carnival Batabano linked to the Islands’ history in turtling, he noted, but is
also a true cultural kaleidoscope of Caribbean
traditions, fusing music and dance with colourful costumes and masquerading.

 “Cayman Carnival Batabano is a favourite event
for returning visitors and among one of the most suggested things-to-do for
those travelling to our shores for the very first time.

 “Every year we anticipate the
intricately-designed costumes, reflecting the vibrant colours that the Caribbean is known for, along with the tasty local
cuisine and sweet delicacies,” said Mr. Scott.

Sponsor: Cayman Airways

Since 1968 Cayman Airways has been
serving the Cayman Islands as the country’s
national flag carrier with a variety of services internationally and to the
sister islands, said Olivia Scott-Ramirez.

“Carnival is part of the Caribbean heritage of every island in our region and
continues to serve as one of the most lucrative tourist attractions and
economic contributors for most island nations. Just as every island is unique
in its own way, so are the carnival experiences of each island, so it’s a
wonderful reason to island-hop!

“We are looking forward to continuing
to see the excitement and fulfilment on the faces of our youth as carnival
continues to serve as a positive creative outlet for them to express their own
sense of Caymanian and Caribbean culture
through the one regional tradition that brings us together as one – carnival,”
said the marketing and communications director.

(PAST EVENTS)
Junior Batabano was a triumphant
expression of colour, dance and energy from our younger folk. The parade
through George Town
wowed the thousands of people who turned out to line the streets and support
the youngsters.

The costumes were wonderful, the
vibe magnificent and the juniors really gave their all as they paraded through George Town before ending
up at glass house lawn for a great family fun day that was extremely well attended.

A comprehensive photo gallery is on
www.caycompass.com

Spirit of Batabano Appleton/Jacques Scott Cocktail Competition

Appleton/Jacques Scott’s Cocktail
Competition was Thursday, 29 April at Vivendi, and featured a class DJ, music,
appetisers and drinks. Prizes were provided by sponsors LIME. The event ran in
conjunction with Jacques Scott, distributors for Appleton on Cayman. The winner goes on to an
international final – check out the Caymanian Compass for more details.

(COMPETITION WINNERS)

Event: Junior Batabano

1st place – Prospect Primary – Gems of the Caribbean; 2nd
place – St Ignatius Catholic – Gone Too Soon; 3rd place – Red Bay
Primary  – Pretty In Pink; Spirit of
Batabano – Prospect Primary

T-shirt design winner

Denique Gaynor, age 11, Savannah
Primary School.

Denique said that she was studying
a unit about culture, geography, tolerance and cross-cultural understanding.

“My drawing was influenced by the
fact that there are about 144 different cultures living in the Cayman Islands, yet we all live together and come
together for one big celebration,” she said.

CAYLIFEBatabanoSTORY

The Batabano adult costume parade will be held Saturday, 1 May.
Photo: File
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