Christmas in the Caribbean doesn’t necessarily bring the classic celebrations we see in the northern hemisphere. But we don’t need snow and reindeers when we have sunshine and stingrays. To help get us into that yuletide spirit, the Cayman Winter Carnival is back this holiday season.
After 23 years since the last fun fair was in town, this Christmas extravaganza is kicking off with a spectacular opening evening and firework display to blow your mind on Friday. The carnival will run right through to Jan. 7.
Located on the grounds next to Governors Square on West Bay Road, there will be more carnival rides, delicious food and drink stalls, and prizes to be won than you can shake a snow globe at. From bumper cars to big wheels, enjoy all the fun carnival rides you grew up with. Get ready for thrill rides to spin you into next year or try the kid-friendly family rides for a much tamer experience. And if fun fair rides just aren’t your thing, make sure to try out the games stalls to get your hands on the plenty of prizes up for grabs.
Food and drink
Get ready for an overload of nostalgia as you indulge in your favorite carnival treats (think candy apples, hot dogs and smothered fries) and local vendors will be on hand to offer up their tasty Caribbean fare. George Town’s soon-to-be new hotspot, The Sandbar, will be showcasing its delightful frozen drinks selection before it opens early next year.
If you fancy a stronger tipple to get the party started, local beverage giants Caybrew and Seven Fathoms Rum, who are sponsoring the event, will be bringing the bar to get you in the spirit.
Cayman Winter Carnival will be open daily from 6 p.m. until midnight. Daily tickets are priced at $25 for adults and $20 for children 15 years and under.
Children of 5 and under and seniors over 65 go for free. Weekend passes are also available for those of you who just can’t get enough. Priced at $50 for adults, the pass gets you in on any weekend for three days of your choice (except for New Year’s Eve).
Tickets are available to buy now at local sponsors: Foster’s Food Fair-IGA, McRuss Grocery, Funky Tang’s, Winners Circle and Reflections Liquor 4 Less.
For parking, the Safehaven lot, off Esterley Tibbetts Highway, and Public Beach will offer a free shuttle service to the carnival. If you do park alongside the roadways, please park responsibly and be aware to not block any driveways or openings.