Fireworks and landings: The pirates are here

All across Grand Cayman swords are
being unsheathed, eye patches laundered and hooks screwed in tight.

Yes, Pirates Week 2010 is here, and
the opening weekend looks set to kick things off in mega style. Cayman’s
Heritage Festival, presented by Digicel, packs in the events this weekend.


Friday, 12 November

An athletic way to kick things off
is the Pirates Week 5k Run, sponsored by Ministry of Sports, at 5pm –
registration is open right up until the last minute at Bayshore Mall. If that’s
too energetic, Hard Rock Cafe’s happy hour starts at 5.30pm, just enough time
to get refreshed before the commencement of Home Gas’ Pirate Costume Competition,
which is always a wonderful showcase of Cayman ingenuity and style. The stage
on Goring Avenue will prove to be a riot of colour and creativity, as kids, men
and women display their own take on pirate clobber – who will have the best
‘pirate-ittude’? Only one way to find out!

Immediately following the pirates’
turn to show off is the Miss Festival Queen Costume Competition, sponsored by
the Ministry of Culture. This celebration of wholesome and historical costume
culture really does highlight the exceptional friendliness and family fun
inherent in the national festival of the Cayman Islands.

The night is rounded off by the
Caymanian Compass/Digicel National Song Competition at 8pm – immediately
following the fireworks. Remember, you can still cast your vote for People’s
Choice online at – and the party continues into the
night with the joyous street dance and food festival, sponsored by Heineken and
featuring the Roy Cape All Stars.


Saturday, 13 November

Saturday starts with the 30th
annual Flowers Group/Department of Tourism 5K Sea Swim at 8am; the water is an
integral part of Cayman life and whether you are a serious competitor or an
interested amateur, the loop course starting at Tiki Beach Bar is a challenge
to be taken up.

It would not be Pirates Week, of
course, without the pirates, and following some tricks and exceptional skills
from street stunt biker Aaron Colton, courtesy of Red Bull, Hog Sty Bay will be
invaded by a host of characters. Not only will the governor and the Red Coats
be there – as ever – to try and fight off the pirate hordes, but this year
there’s also a magnificent array of zombies, beautiful Sirens and 20-foot
monsters to add into the mix, along with bumpin’ tunes and an exuberant display
somewhere between street theatre, high-end Hollywood movies and the cheeky
personality always inherent in the landing.

Hang out at Harbour Drive for the
famous float parade immediately afterward – the theme is the past, the present
and the future – and stay on for more local food. There’s also the
Pepsi-sponsored Teen Up teen disco at the Craft Market for the younger element,
starting at 7pm.


Sunday, 14 November

Sunday’s events include the
Underwater Treasure Hunt at Dive Tech in West Bay, co-sponsored by Cobalt Coast
Dive Resort. This unique Pirates Week special is likely to feature divers in
full pirate costume hunting for booty near the reefs, with a host of prizes on
offer. Whether you are a seasoned diver or a snorkeler, from kids to adults,
the true prizes may well be the chance to simply enjoy the best water, and best
weather, in the world – while meeting up with friends old and new, from 1pm.
Meanwhile, over at Camana Bay Crescent, the Children’s Fun Fair Day is on from
midday to 4pm, sponsored by Progressive Distributors and Cayman 27. There will
be all sorts of painting contests, fancy dress, bouncy castles, story time
corner and much, much more to delight and educate kids of all ages.

The initial weekend of Pirates
Week, as ever, will prove to be a brilliant way to start off a festival that is
not only unparalleled throughout the Caribbean, but known worldwide as a unique
and family-friendly celebration of heritage and happiness.

Remember to check out the Caymanian
Compass every day next week for all the news on each district’s heritage day
and more pirate-friendly stories and photos.


Pirates Week brings out the best in sartorial elegance.
Photo: Joe Shooman

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