Recent efforts to recombine Cayman’s Carnival events appear to have failed for now.
Officials for Batabano and Braccanal met twice in June with their CayMas counterparts, with the idea of coming to an agreement on a schedule of dates that would allow everyone to join in one big party.
In 2017, CayMas began staging a separate parade and festivities two weeks after the long-running Batabano event. CayMas organizers said the dates, falling on the Discovery Day long weekend, were more advantageous for attracting additional tourists to the island and for local participation.
Wayne Kirkconnell, chairman of CayMas Carnival, said that when representatives met on June 16 – joined by Mas Band, a new entity representing the carnival bands – he was hopeful.
“We thought we were getting somewhere,” Mr. Kirkconnell said. “But the Braccanal committee said they would not be flexible.”
Braccanal, the Cayman Brac manifestation of Carnival, has been holding its event on the Discovery Day long weekend as well.
In a press release, Batabano Chairwoman Donna Myrie-Stephen said she was unhappy with CayMas’s position.
“We are deeply disappointed that the private group that caused this division in the first place were unwilling to compromise their position and imposition on our two long-established carnivals,” Ms. Myrie-Stephen said in the release.
“But the Batabano committee stands unified with the mas bands of CIMBA [Cayman Islands Mas Bands Association] and with our country’s sister carnival on Cayman Brac, and we remain confident and excited about the bright future of Batabano as the tourism attraction and national tradition that it has been for 35 years.”