Cayman’s National Festival is here, folks – Pirates Week presented by SaxonMG has a massive amount of great activities for all. So without further ado, let’s get stuck into what’s on offer.
Friday, 9 November
Registration for the 5K run commences at 3.30pm and the Ministry of Sport-sponsored event starts from the Bayshore Mall at 5pm sharp. For the rest of us there’s the haven of Hard Rock Cafe from 5.30 to 7.30pm for the special Pirates Rock Happy Hour.
At 6pm, the Ministry of Culture-sponsored Miss Festival Queen competition takes place. Think Caymanian fashion and family-friendly ingenuity – not a talent show, though, it’s all about the culture and wholesome atmosphere.
Of course, be sure to get a good spot for the fireworks at Harbour Drive, sponsored by the Department of Tourism and Margaritaville. When the skies light up, that’s when we know that the week has really started. Then, until 2am, the ace street dance and food festival takes over the Harbour Drive/Shedden Road area – look out for Pirates, both visiting and local.
Saturday, 10 November
Early birds will be at the 5K sea swim, sponsored by Davenport Development. A special treat awaits this year with the involvement of Olympic gold medallist Ous Mellouuli, competing in the clear waters of Cayman for the first time.
There’s a short break to get dried off before the amazing pre-landing entertainment kicks in at Hog Sty Bay. This year, amongst many, many other awesome performers, Red Bull are bringing down some of their daredevil cliff divers including the absolutely legendary Orlando Duque, who has no less than nine world championship titles and two Guinness World Records to his name. The Duke is an absolute king of the sport and will wow Cayman crowds with his daring and skill.
When 3pm comes around, then it’s time for the arrival of those pesky pirates at the world-famous Landing Pageant. Cayman will be invaded once more by reprobates as they seek to capture the “governor” and rampage around George Town. What will happen this year? There’s only one way to find out and that is to come down to the harbour to watch. In any case, you’re going to want to snag a good spot to catch the colourful and inventive float parade, sponsored by Davenport Development. Companies, schools, districts and more will be showing off their own interpretations of this year’s theme, “Historical Shipwrecks and Cayman Treasures”. It’s going to be amazing – bring a camera.
The live band at Green Parrot from 6 to 8pm should liven up matters at their Wenches Gone Wild event, which is a nifty precursor to another street dance and food festival until (just before) midnight.
Meanwhile, for the youngsters the safe and funky environs of the Cayman Craft Market are the venue for the ever-popular Teen Up, Teen Disco from 7 to 11pm.
Sunday, 11 November
Things start at the relatively user-friendly time of midday (til 4pm) for the ace Children’s Fun Fair Day sponsored by Progressive Distributors, Cayman 27 and Camana Bay.
Camana Bay, of course, is the host for this hugely community-oriented bash, which features all sorts of ace stuff including face painting, a brilliant competition to win one of five bicycles, beautiful baby contests, the chance to sit in a police car with sirens blazing, cute dogs and cats from the Humane Society, food, drinks and plenty of open space for us all to run around in. Of course, there’s a huge amount more going on at this free event, so head down and fill your boots.
Meanwhile, in the company of Divetech in West Bay from 12.30pm there’s the Underwater Treasure Hunt, which never fails to raise a smile as snorkellers and divers get dressed up to search the marine world for special coins which correspond to special prizes landside. All the funds generated go to Pirates Week and various Cayman Islands Tourism Association community initiatives, so it’s in a great cause, too. The hunt will either be at Lighthouse Point or Sea Fan Reef at Cobalt Coast and it’s $20 per person with dive gear rental additional.
Another amazing event is the 4pm Turtle Release, at SafeHaven. Sponsored, of course, by the Turtle Farm, more than 160 turtles either 6 to 9 months old or wee nippers will be sent on their way to freedom by individuals who have personally sponsored the little critters. The emblem of the Cayman Islands is rarely cuter than seeing these youngsters take their first strokes to a wider world.
Last thing this weekend is just as Sunday turns into Monday, at 12.01am to be exact, with a Wet Fete at Spotts Dock sponsored by Party Surfers. It’s going to be immense so bring your best dancing feet.
Wednesday, 14 November
The Mike Lockwood Memorial International Swim Meet sponsored by Fosters Food Fair begins at 3.30pm on Wednesday, 14 November. Other dates are Friday, 16, Saturday, 17 and Sunday, 18 November,
Heritage Days schedule
Check out these daily amazing events for hyperlocal culture and of course some of the most authentic, delicious and irresistible treats known to mankind, cooked and served up by the locals – and they know this stuff, guys.
Monday, 12 November – North Side; Tuesday, 13 November – Bodden Town; Wednesday, 14 November – George Town; Thursday, 15 November – East End; Friday 16 November – West Bay.