The creativity, energy and skill of young Cayman takes centre stage on Saturday, 28 April.
Yes, folks, Junior Batabano is here and it will prove as colourfully exciting as ever – if not more so.
“The Cayman Carnival Batabano committee is proud of the fact that we have special carnivals on separate weekends,” says Donna Myrie.
“In fact this year we are celebrating a decade of Junior Batabano.” There are nine schools participating this year, reveals Donna.
“It really has evolved into all sorts of things; for example, mask making and decorating allows kids to be a part of Carnival even if they are not directly participating in the parade.” The family fun day begins at 1pm in Camana Bay, Donna tells us, with the main parade at 3pm.
“We are also having an awesome steel pan competition [at 5.30pm]; Earl La Pierre is musical director at all the schools. Of course, pan goes hand in hand with Carnival; Junior Batabano is the future and it introduces all aspects of carnival to our upcoming generation. They can express themselves through carnival.”
At the fun day there will be all manner of ace stuff including food, snow cones, face painting and prizes awarded post-parade, which for the first time includes a stint jumpin’ down West Bay road.
There’s also the small matter of the song competition, which starts at 5.30pm.
“This competition is something that sometimes the adults are jealous of,” says the carnival queen, impishly.
“For the last four years we have had it at Junior Batabano. It’s an event where the young enthusiasts and talented performers bring us either covers or original music.
“As long as it’s upbeat or has soca flair it is more than acceptable. There are plenty of prizes too like LIME smartphones as well as of course the accolade of being Junior Batabano winner.” It’s being judged, says Donna, by famous Cayman Islands Music Association members, and what they are looking for is energy and young talent.
The home of Junior Batabano has become Camana Bay of late, a situation with which the committee is more than happy.
“Camana Bay hosts us in beautiful surroundings and we are very happy. The Carnival Committee would like to invite all schools to come out and watch – perhaps they may become involved next year.
“We would love all schools to participate in this cultural event and we applaud the Ministry of Culture and Camana Bay for their vision in supporting Junior Batabano.”
The goal of the event is to create a safe, fun and creative environment for youth to play masquerade and to teach the art of costume making for generations to come. The parade sees school children dance and jump along Market Street in a burst of colour, music and creativity before wowing judges at the Crescent. The fun continues afterwards at this family-friendly event with fundraising food stalls presented by school PTAs plus all sorts of activities for revellers of all ages.