Brackers hope cultural event will attract residents to visit Cayman Brac
Cayman Brackers were out in force in Grand Cayman at the weekend, bringing a taste of their island with them.
Cayman Brac Exposure Day was held at the Mango Tree in George Town on Saturday, Aug. 31. For those who missed it, organizers say it’s sure to be back next year as it showcases Cayman Brac.
The inaugural event in Grand Cayman featured a lineup of talented Brac singers, entertainers, artisans and cooks. Even “soldier crabs” were specially flown in to help highlight Cayman Brac’s culture.
“It was awesome, the best day I had on Grand Cayman in a long time,” said Niki Foster, a Bracker living on Grand Cayman. “It was just like how Cayman used to be in the yesteryears when everyone came together to have fun, dance and enjoy home-cooked foods with lot of reminiscing.”
Even the rain didn’t stop everyone from having a grand time.
But what really made the day special for Brackers, explained committee organizer Regal Jackson, was the opportunity to show Grand Cayman what its Sister Island has to offer.
“Cayman Brac is suffering right now when it comes to tourism,” said Mr. Jackson. “My people are hurting. We need local tourism, and we need to get Caymanians and other visitors going to the Brac.”
Staging the event was the perfect opportunity to get more people involved, motivated and interested in Cayman Brac, he said. “I think it was an excellent event. The feedback was good. We got so much support, it was unbelievable.”
Mr. Jackson said the Brac Exposure event had been in the works for a long time, but never got off the ground. It eventually kicked into high gear when he formed a committee with Shim Tibbetts and Emile Scott, along with other Brackers, to join forces with long-time visitors and supporters of the Brac, Fred Whittaker and Raymond Whittaker of Mango Tree Restaurant.
“Shim Tibbetts came up with the idea to call it Brac Exposure as a concept to sell Cayman Brac. That is why everyone and everything during the day’s event was carried out by Brackers,” he said.
Even Brac soldier crabs made an appearance–one of the highlights of the day. The critters were featured in a race, the Soldier Crab Crawl.
“Most Caymanians always speak about Brackers when it comes to eating soldier crabs, but we do not mind – it is part of the culture. That is why the T-shirts sold on the Brac Exposure Day highlighted the Cayman Brac soldier crab. They were specially flown in from the Brac,” said Mr. Jackson.
The event also gave a local Brac band the opportunity to be booked for a Christmas party on Grand Cayman and everyone was happy that they made a little money.
“It was not a money-making event, but everyone was only too happy to turn over some of the proceeds to cancer victim Juliet Casselman and long-time school teacher and Pines resident Jerry Harper,” said Mr. Jackson, adding that Mango Tree, sponsors of the event, also handed over part of the proceeds of the event to Cayman HospiceCare.
Mr. Jackson said he felt proud of all the Brac musicians, cooks and craft people who came out to make the day a success. The committee is looking forward to the second event, which will be held on Cayman Brac in May or June next year.
The bash on the Brac will see the committee looking at chartering planes to take people to the island, the second largest of the three Cayman islands. The event will involve schools, churches, bars and restaurants and activities such as kayaking, catboat and soldier crab races, food and music.
Going forward, Mr. Jackson said they are looking at staging Brac Exposure Day annually in Grand Cayman, likely in the month of August.