Arrr, so we be lookin’ down the barrel of Pirates Week, so it be worth takin a quick look at some of the events happenin in 2012 to whet the appetite for what tis in store.
Yes, folks, for 10 glorious days there are plenty of events for all the family to enjoy – Pirates Week, which is presented by Saxon MG, truly is something for everybody. This year’s theme is Historical Shipwrecks and Cayman Treasures – something that encompasses a broad range of flora, fauna, the marine environment, the beaches, the people and the golden sun itself. As ever with Pirates Week, things are a lot more than they might at first glance appear.
It all begins on the weekend of Friday, 2 November, and Saturday, 3 November, when Little Cayman takes centre stage. The tiny paradise island is the very epitome of treasure, indeed, and the 200 or so inhabitants – bolstered of course by a lot of very happy visitors – will do their bit no doubt with the famous dominoes tournament, heritage displays, fireworks, street dances, a costume competition and of course a float parade, which may be small but is certainly perfectly formed.
Back on Grand Cayman, Cayman’s National Festival kicks off on Thursday, 8 November. Breezes by the Bay, The Westin and The Wharf all have shindigs that evening to celebrate the eve of Pirates Week and the tunes will come courtesy of the always-awesome Steel Pan Competition down on harbour drive.
Friday’s busy too, with the first sporting event in the 5K run, plus Miss Festival Queen, Fireworks, Happy Hour at Hard Rock and the first Street Dance and Food Festival evening on the Harbour Drive/Shedden Road axis. Plenty of music, drinks, piratical fun and local food on offer as ever whilst the rhythm revs up.
On Saturday – which, if you’ve been keeping up, is 10th November – early entertainment comes from the 5K sea swim, which features an Olympic athlete this year so there’s a test for us all, eh? Then the afternoon comes truly alive with the pre-landing entertainment (expect some sparks and class diving from Red Bull plus plenty of cool stuff) and the landing pageant at Hog Sty Bay. Traditionally this is where pirates land their ship and ravage the land, capturing the governor and heading off with their cutlasses in hand. What will happen in 2012? Well, come down and see for yourself. Immediately after the reprobates scare the landlubbers there’s the colourful and exciting float parade, always testament to the ingenuity of the people involved, be they schools, companies, charities, districts and more. Now, folks, we’ll definitely know that it’s Pirates Week. The evening revelry is courtesy of another street dance and food festival whilst for the younger generation the Craft Market holds a Teen Up Teen Disco – always very popular.
Sunday events include an Underwater Treasure Hunt with Divetech in West Bay, the Turtle Release at Safehaven and the ace Kids’ Fun Day up at Camana Bay, which has food, fun, games, giveaways, face painting and loads of stuff for the kiddies. That starts at midday and truly is a treasure. For the adults, the party goes on way past bedtime with a Wet Fete at Spotts Dock – beginning at 12.01am as Sunday turns into (holiday) Monday.
More fun awaits
The Mike Lockwood Swim Meet starts on Wednesday, 14 November, with other dates being Friday, Saturday and Sunday for an event that regularly attracts swimmers from all over the world to compete.
More Pirates Week fun on Saturday, 17 November, with a packed day of events once more. As well as the Swim Meet, which is at Lions Pool, there’s the relatively new but very well-received Circuit Race downtown for under-12s. This proved very popular last year and is an opportunity again for the new generation to show their prowess. It starts at the relatively friendly time of 8.30am.
Then it’s back to the water-based stuff; at 2.30pm we’ve got the stand up paddle board contest – and believe us, that’s not as easy as it sounds – which is an excellent way to whet the appetite for the hilarious Cardboard Boat Race, which begins at 4.15pm. The boats can only be made out of cardboard – with gaffer tape allowed – and they come in all shapes and sizes, most of them not all that seaworthy. Sinking is half the fun as teams vie for the bragging rights of winning, or simply the most spectacular dunking. Either way it’s a joyous riot.
After that, young chefs show their skills in the Snapper Cook Off Finale, then there’s the License to Win Grand Prize Giveaway with Saxon MG, the sentencing of the Pirates, fireworks and another Teen Up disco plus more of that street dance action. Phew!
But it’s not over there – Sunday, 18 November, begins at 7am with the Jerry Harper 10K run. The final sporting event takes place at Mango Tree at 1pm with the Mickey Mouse Darts Tournament – skill on show indeed.
To keep the celebrations going, the weekend of Thursday, 22, to Sunday, 25 November, shows Cayman Brac take centre stage with their own celebrations. It’s a brilliant experience on the gorgeous, rugged Brac which has a definite flavour of its own. From parties and heritage to parades, a weekend at the Brac is certainly unforgettable.