A street fair selling local food and crafts to cruise ship passengers in George Town is dividing opinion in the capital.
While tourists have previously praised the event, some commuters are frustrated with the closure of a key road at rush hour for what has dwindled, on some days, to a small number of vendors.
The event, initially organized by the Pirates Week Committee but now run by chef John Jefferson Jr. of Culture Shop, takes over part of Cardinall Avenue on Thursdays.
The street closes from before 8 a.m. to facilitate the event.
Jackie Stirling, who works in the CIBC building in George Town, said there needs to be some form of traffic management introduced if the road is going to be closed every week. She said the closure was impacting traffic coming into George Town at the busiest time of the day and causing excessive delays.
“There were only a couple of vendors out there today [Thursday]. I don’t know why they can’t leave the road open until later or have the stalls at the craft market or inside the cruise terminal.
“I don’t want to take away anyone’s business, but this is affecting all the other businesses in George Town.”
Mr. Jefferson said he had taken on the job of organizing the street fair around three months ago. He said, “We have local food, crafts and jewelry. We usually have local music as well. It is a real Cayman experience for the cruise ship passengers. They really enjoy it.”
He said the number of vendors had dwindled in recent weeks because a sponsorship deal with Pepsi to provide canopies had fallen through. But he said other arrangements were being made and the street fair would be “back to full strength” shortly. He said it was necessary to close the road early to prevent people parking on the street.
“It is only once a week, and it is only part of one road,” he said, arguing that it was not too much inconvenience.