The 2017 Batabano carnival will be held May 4-6, with Junior Batabano on April 29, organizers said Monday.

On May 4, the kick-off for the event, Le Masque, will feature a return of the “Kings and Queens” costume competition.

A Friday Night Fete will introduce the Canadian-based “Soca or Die” concert on Harbour Drive on May 5.

On May 6, the colorful street parade, which organizers said will include up to 10 bands, will begin on West Bay Road and proceed to downtown George Town.

Junior Batabano and the Family Fun Day will take place on April 29, with local schools and individual junior bands set to take part.

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Donna Myrie-Stephen, chairwoman of the Cayman Carnival Batabano Committee, noted that the festival, established in 1983 by the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, “is here to stay.”

“With the endorsement and support of the Cayman Islands government for decades, the Batabano street parade has grown significantly and has truly been an economic boost for local business as well as for tourism,” Ms. Myrie-Stephen said. “In recent years we’ve had more sponsors and spectators, and more masquerade bands introducing stunning costumes for the street parade each year.

“In 2017, we’re especially excited about re-introducing the Kings and Queens costume competition as well as a float category for the street parade.”

The festival is sponsored by telecom company FLOW.

Mas Band Association

In a first for Cayman Carnival Batabano, the Cayman Islands Mas Band Association has been formed and its representatives have been given a seat on the Batabano Planning Committee.

Olujimi La Pierre, the head of the association, said, “We appreciate the Batabano Cayman Carnival organization for allowing the Mas Bands to have official representation on their committee. Everything happens in due time and I, with the band leaders, look forward to the 2017 season and plans the organization have presented.”


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