Whilst the pirates have been banished from Cayman shores for another year, they’ve left some good will behind.
Bernie Bush, director of Pirates Week, said that he and the team had received lots of positive feedback from attendees.
“It is not my place to say it was the best ever, but when the public, some of whom have been to 15 or 20 previous events, said it was the best ever and the biggest crowd, that is very pleasing.
“We feel we did a good job and accomplished what we tried to do,” he said.
Mr. Bush added that from the committee to sponsors and volunteers, it had been a joint effort with everyone working together to make the festival happen.
“The Caymanian Compass, SaxonMG, Department of Tourism and all the sponsors really are partners in the festival,” he said. “The districts really stepped up this year and I take my hat off to the volunteers who do all this for no money. It is a huge amount of work and a lot of respect is due to them.”
Mr. Bush praised the continued work of Pat Bazell-Taylor, whose long-standing affiliation with the festival, continued hard work and depth of knowledge was essential to all aspects of the process.
“Pat is awesome. She is sharp as anything and knows so much,” he said.
As soon as one Pirates Week is wrapped up, said the festival director, work begins on the next one.
“We are already looking at different performers for 2013. We have music for the first weekend lined up and now it’s a case of getting contracts in place. The last weekend’s music I would like to make it more cultural and get our local bands showcased, the likes of Swanky Kitchen Band. Perhaps we could make that in town, highlighting our own music.
“I am now going out and talking to sponsors. It is Cayman’s National Festival and everyone should contribute; I want everybody on board contributing, even if it is in a small way. Then next year we can blow this year out of the water,” Mr. Bush said.
He said he would also be sitting down with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association to discuss how the private sector body could assist and become further involved with the festival.
“This festival was designed to get tourists down here. Hotels, retailers, restaurants all said this year was awesome and, of course, there is a ripple effect unlike any other event in Cayman. Pirates Week is a brand with 35 years behind it and you cannot throw that away. When there was talk about maybe changing the name, two or three other countries actually contacted us and wanted to claim that domain. But we use it for good.
“It is a great way for tourists to really engage with indigenous Caymanians and also for people who live here to bump into friends you have not seen for ages,” he said. “For me, I have run into school friends and older folks who helped me so much when I was young. To have the chance to talk to them for a few minutes, people I knew when I was growing up, really is lovely.”