From Angels decked out with jewel-encrusted wings to beautifully designed “Smiling Sunbeams,” Cayman Junior Batabano was a sea of color and laughter on Saturday.
Hundreds gathered along George Town streets and on the grounds of the old Glass House for the junior parade, which is held a week before the annual adult Batabano festival.
Savannah Primary kids, dressed in white with lots of sparkling tinsel representing “Rain … and More Rain,” earned first place for capturing the theme of the parade – “Splendor of the Skies.” The vibrant group also impressed judges with their costumes and a coordinated dance to win Batabano “Junior Band of the Year.”
Red Bay Primary students, whose costume theme was “Swirling Winds,” took second place, while Prospect Primary’s “Smiling Sunbeams” won third place.
The titles King and Queen of Junior Batabano went to two students from George Town Primary School. The school designed their own costumes under the theme “Guardians of the Sky,” assisted by festival costume designer Reba Dilbert and Sagicor staff.
School leaders, teachers and parents kept a no-nonsense eye on kids around the parade routes.
DJs stationed on backs of trucks kept the parade moving along with funky Soca music.
Organizers said this year – the 15th of the junior festival – had a record turnout, with 450 children, in groups with a variety of celestial names, like Cayman Prep and High’s “Solar Eclipse;” St. Ignatius’s “Fluffy Clouds, Midnight Moonlight and Thunder and Lightning;” and Cayman International School’s “Welcome to Heaven.”
During the presentation of trophies, Donna Myrie-Stephen, chairwoman of the Cayman Carnival Batabano Committee, praised the children for a job well done, as well as parents and sponsors for supporting the event.
Most of the costumes at this year’s Junior Batabano were designed once again by one of Trinidad’s “Junior Mas” costume designers, Richard Bartholomew.
Participating schools included Cayman International School, St. Ignatius School, Cayman Prep and High School, Red Bay Primary, Prospect Primary, Savannah Primary and George Town Primary.