Cayman’s capital and commercial centre takes its place in the spotlight today, Wednesday, 14 November, for a well-earnt opportunity to show off its cultural and historical chops. But where international financial institutions now stand were once modest wooden buildings, cow pastures and homes. Homes ranged from elegant two-storey colonial style houses to the humble one-room cottage. The port where tonnes of imported goods and tens of thousands of cruise ship passengers now pass through was once a fishing village. Instead of cruise ships in the harbour and cars landing on the dock, it was schooners at anchor and turtles being off-loaded.
Traces of the old George Town remain in the form of the Post Office Building, Library, Pirates Week Office, The National Museum, the Merren and Panton Homes along South Church Street and the homes along Goring and Elgin Avenues. Shedden Road still remains one of the main streets in George Town and played a significant role in producing many men and women who made these Islands a success.
George Town’s district will highlight in their float many of the faces of significant people who have assisted in the nation building. One should not miss this spectacle of our past heroes. Alongside of that will be the edifices representing the present and the future, thus giving a bird’s eye view of what affects the present now and the many futuristic edifices and niches that will make Cayman be better in the 21st century.
On the day itself, held at the lawns of the Glass House, opening prayers and the official opening start things off at 10am before Verniee Myles delights us with an Ole Folks Song at 10.30am. Half an hour later, there’s a storytelling demo on dolls with Donna Bryan, then lunch is served at midday with judging half an hour later.
The governor moseys on down at 1pm and an hour after that there will be steel pan music to get everybody even more in the Caribbean mood.
At 3.30pm, games will include hopscotch, a soldier race, crab races and hula hoops to get everyone suitably hungry for the snapper cook-off at 5pm and a watermelon competition at 5pm. That’s when the Seattle Seafair Pirates, Blackbeard and his first mate Dee Gee turn up to cause suitable amounts of havoc.
An old-fashioned wedding will enlighten guests at 5.30pm, as will the parade of hats at 6pm. An hour after that, it’s time for the children’s talent competition, including dance and modelling – proof indeed that there is way more to George Town than financial whizzkids and hedge funds.
In fact, the capital of the Cayman Islands has the rich history, culture and personal touch to keep everyone in delighted mode for the whole day.