Giving thanks for Cayman Thanksgiving

The second annual celebration in honour of Caymanian heritage, culture and way of life is imminent. 

Yes, folks, it’s Cayman Thanksgiving, which comprises a series of events over the weekend of the first Sunday in December. This year, that means kicking things off on Friday, 30 November, and running through to the Sunday culmination. It’s about fellowship, food and festivities – heritage, of course, runs through everything from the music we enjoy to the methods of cooking. But heritage is nothing without sharing and that concept is central to the success of a relatively new celebration but one that holds within it the soul and spirit of an island that has been passed down through generations. 

Here’s an overview of the events that are coming up. 

 

Friday, 30 November 

Homecoming Concert 

Pedro St. James 

This year’s bands are InVerse, Jeffrey Wilson & Unity, Swanky Kitchen Band and Thanks & Praises. 

InVerse is a relatively new band on the circuit. Formerly known as After Skool, the group has already supported the likes of Suite Elite. The four-piece got together in high school and describe themselves as ‘an indie rock band with very big dreams.’ 

Jeffrey Wilson & Unity deliver mellow lyrics with classy, high energy shows. Cayman’s rising superstar has taken the region by storm with hits such as Desert Rose and Get to Know Ya. 

Swanky Kitchen Band’s second album, Sand Dance, brings the spirit of Caymanian traditional music back to a generation looking to rediscover its cultural identity. Primarily instrumental, the group is a fixture on the circuit and safe hands for culture and heritage. Not to say that it’s all old-timey stuff; standards like Munzie Boat in the Sound have been given a modern twist. Collaborations with ThE iZ, KK Alese, Devon Edie, Jeffrey Wilson and MOJ display the full range of Swanky’s diversity and Cayman’s musical wealth. 

Thanks & Praises returned to the stage for the inaugural Homecoming concert in 2011 and their return has been long-awaited by fans.  

With the backing of Cayman’s top musicians including Lammie Seymour and Jonathan Ebanks of the MOJ band, the magic of reggae’s triumphant message is delivered in a distinct West Bay style. Album Rise Above is a timeless reminder that roots reggae still tells stories to our hearts. 

Tickets are $15 (adults) and $5 (children), available at Cayman Box Office, Funky Tangs, J&M Electronics and One345 Swanky Shack. 

 

Saturday, 1 December 

Market Vendors’ Day 

Market at the Grounds 

Local farmers and market vendors will be on site to serve and sell fresh local produce including pumpkin, fish, breadfruit, cassava, yam, bananas, poultry, eggs, meats, seasoning, peppers and many other items to help you prepare for your Thanksgiving meal. This market day is a special day for families, local residents and visitors, with loads of entertainment for everyone. This day at the Grounds will be an experience to be remembered for years to come. 

 

Sunday, 2 December 

Homecoming Meal 

Getting Together 

As Caymanians are encouraged to invite non-Caymanians to participate in their family gatherings, the Caymanian cuisine will be the key feature of honouring all things Caymanian.  

It will create instant demand for local farmers, fishermen and food-related cottage industries such as cooks and bakers, to supply the products to make Cayman Thanksgiving a success.  

The overall benefits include preserving Caymanian culture, developing culinary arts that use Caymanian produce and giving tangible support to Caymanian farmers and fishermen who toil throughout the year with sometimes little appreciation for their tremendous efforts.  

The Thanksgiving meal is the heart of the celebration – host or 
partake in a family gathering and invite your neighbours; culture and love are two sides of the same coin. 

 

Giving Back 

Charity begins at home, so they say, so spend some time helping out the less fortunate, visiting those who can’t get out, planting food trees, painting ancestors’ graves, going shopping for your neighbour – the choice truly is yours. 

For inspiration, this year, the focus is in donating unused canned goods. Look out for more info on where to donate. 

 

Worship Services 

Fellowship and communion with people are integral parts of Cayman’s Christian heritage and giving thanks as a community of faith before the traditional meal is encouraged. 

As Caymanians are encouraged to invite non-Caymanians to participate in their family gatherings, the Caymanian cuisine will be the key feature of honouring all things Caymanian. 

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