When you feel West Bay Road throbbing to the rhythm of dancing feet and music, you will know that Batabano is back. Batabano Carnival brings a riot of color to Cayman as costumed performers make their way down the streets, entertaining passersby and those lining the route waiting for the parade.
There have already been a few events leading up to the big weekend, including J’Ouvert and Junior Batabano. Now, the main events are finally upon us, featuring dazzling displays and local and international musical acts.
You do not have to be a participant to enjoy everything that Batabano has to offer. Simply find your spot along the road and wait for the party to come to you.
“Outta De Blue” Friday Night Fête
Launching the weekend’s festivities this year is the Batabano Friday Night Fête dubbed “Outta De Blue,” held on Harbour Drive from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Headliners include Trinidad’s reigning International Soca Monarch, “Voice,” along with Trinidadian Soca artists Shal Marshall and Olatunji. Local artists are Ricco, Da Dude Feev, Andrea Rivera and Erica Azzia, with local DJs DJ Neko and DJ Frost of Hot spinning their magic throughout the night. Revelers are encouraged to wear something blue and represent!
Concert tickets are available in advance for $25 for general admission and $50 for VIP. Buy online at www.caymancarnival.com or in person at Funky Tang’s and Le Classique.
Grand Batabano Street Parade and Batabano Bazaar
The annual Grand Batabano Street Parade – a kaleidoscope of music, dance and pageantry – will start at the Seven Mile Public Beach at 1 p.m. and end in the heart of George Town on Harbour Drive where the annual “Batabano Bazaar” will be taking place.
Various local vendors selling a variety of Caymanian, Caribbean and other native dishes will be ready to serve up the good stuff. Don’t miss the setup on Cardinall Avenue and Albert Panton Street – you will need that fuel in your system to keep you going until the wee hours.
Local arts and crafts vendors will also be selling their wares during the Batabano Bazaar downtown. Admission is free.
Batabano Last Lap
At carnivals everywhere, the final fête on parade day is dubbed “Last Lap” and in Cayman, the Batabano street party continues downtown with various local DJs performing across three stages along Harbour Drive from 3 p.m. until midnight. Come out and enjoy the music and great food under the night sky. Four genres of music will be offered: soca, Latin, reggae and rock. Something for everyone!
Admission is free.
For more information on these and other events, visit www.caymancarnival.com. You can also follow Cayman Carnival Batabano on Facebook.com/batabanocayman or on instagram.com/batabano_cayman.