Once again, the colorful, musical and sometimes fantastical Cayman Carnival Batabano is about to arrive.
Held during the first 10 days in May, Batabano is in its 31st year. Since its inception by the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, the event has grown into a weeklong carnival featuring a wide range of festivities.
Le Masque and World Fete
Batabano kicks off at 7 p.m. on May 1 at Royal Palms with “Le Masque World Fete” fundraiser dinner for Cayman’s ARK, and a concert by Soca artist Destra Garcia at 10 p.m.
Guests will receive elaborately decorated masks on arrival, and there will be a champagne reception with a steel pan band, “flaming limbo dancers,” and acrobats. A Caribbean buffet will also be served, followed by dancing under the stars to the sounds of live band Caribbean Divas featuring Oscar B from Trinidad.
According to organizer Donna Myrie-Stephen, the Le Masque and World Fete event is designed to pay tribute to the many sponsors and supporters of the annual carnival and to help attendees get into the carnival spirit.
Tickets for the dinner, $75 each, are available for tables of four, six, eight and ten. Contact Sheena Hurlstone on [email protected] or 323-0310; Le Classique at 949-7121 or Charmaine Moss on [email protected] or 516-7323.
Tickets for the World Fete, $15 pre-paid or $20 at the gate. They can be purchased at Royal Palms, Reflections and Funky Tangs.
Dress Down Day
On Carnival Dress Down Day, May 2, businesses are encouraged to show their carnival and civic spirit and wear Batabano T-shirts, $12 each from the Batabano committee. Proceeds go toward Batabano’s charity of choice for 2014, the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation.
Happy hour from 5 p.m. at the new Sky Lounge, featuring “Touch the Clouds” with the Caribbean Divas and Oscar B.
Adult Costume Parade and Street Party
The parade on May 3 starts at 3 p.m. at the Marquee Plaza and travels along West Bay Road, ending on Harbour Drive where the fun continues with a street party with live music by local artists and visiting entertainers. Stilt walkers, acrobats and limbo dancers will lead the colorful parade of masqueraders, and more than 20 food vendors will be on hand to serve up traditional island fare.
Junior Batabano and Family Fun Day
On May 10, starting at 1 p.m., kids will parade from the old Tower Building into George Town in a mass of color, music and creativity, organizers say. They will return to the stage at the old Tower Building to be judged. After the parade, the fun continues with face painting, mask decorating, snow cones and many family activities.