Anyone older than 30 in Cayman may remember rides like the Gravitron, the Twister and the Viper from the days when the Rotary Club carnival used to be a seasonal fixture on the island.

More than 20 years since the last visit, Mardi Gras Promotions’ Matthew Leslie says he is bringing back the carnival.

Mr. Leslie said he has signed an agreement with Midway Carnivals to bring the event to Cayman for six weeks this winter, with the exact date and location to be finalized.

The carnival will feature roller coasters, food and entertainment and other rides and attractions, and will require an entire cargo ship to bring it all to Cayman.

Mr. Leslie said he had an overwhelming response to the announcement this week.

“I keep seeing so much bad news in Cayman and I wanted to bring some good news to people,” he said. “I’ve been working on this for quite a while and I think it is going to be huge.

“People are excited about it because for many of us, it was one of our best childhood memories. It was the one big event that could bring you out every night with your friends. It was so family orientated, I used to go with my grandmother, my mum, my brothers.

“There is real nostalgia for it because it was something that people really looked forward to each year.”

The Carnival is a treasured childhood memory for many in Cayman. Matthew Leslie says he is bringing it back.

He said he would also be looking to bring in a celebrity performer for the opening night and is in talks with developers to find a suitable site for the carnival. The carnival, particularly the 100-foot-plus towers of the Mega Drop ride, will dominate the landscape.

“The response has been tremendous and we are expecting thousands to turn out for opening night,” he added.

Mr. Leslie, whose events company brought Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao to Cayman earlier this year, said this would be the biggest event he has organized.

He said it would also provide an economic boost for Cayman.

“They will be bringing on staff safety technicians and engineers, but there will be plenty of opportunities for short-term work for Caymanians as well,” he said.

He said he would be seeking sponsors for the event but it is expected to fund itself through gate receipts. Season passes will be available as well as one-day or weekend passes, he added.


  1. What a great idea, the kids loved it. For so many who could never afford an overseas trip this is a Godsend. Congratulations to Mr Leslie. Hopefully the service clubs can fund raise for our needy children to attend, and I would certainly contribute.

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