Pirates pillage, party in Cayman

Scores of privateers and marauders flooded the streets of downtown George Town in search of plunder and booty Saturday in the marquee event of Grand Cayman’s annual Pirates Week celebration.

Thousands of spectators stood lining Harbour Drive for the sun-drenched spectacle, dressing their best to match the bearded renegades and torn-bodiced wenches that came ashore.

The costumed pirates made a boisterous entrance, firing cannons and filling the air with acrid white smoke before making their landing at George Town harbor. From there, they engaged in a mock battle with British regulars and marched their captives to a waiting pirate ship float for the parade.

Cheered on by a partying public that had arrived at least an hour before the landing, the pirate float – pulled by a Clean Gas pickup truck – led the procession down Harbour Drive and turned right on Fort Street.

The area later played host to a costume competition and a street dance.

The weekend had kicked off with a concert and fireworks on Friday, and it continued with a national song competition and another street-dancing concert on Saturday night.

Sunday culminated in the To Hell and Back 10K Run/Walk, the turtle release on Spotts Beach and the “Soaked” Wet Fete on Harbour Drive.

More than 1,000 people turned up for the turtle release, and the Tourism Attraction Board teamed up with Plastic Free Cayman to stage a pair of beach cleanups at Barkers. Cayman residents pitched in to tidy up Barkers Saturday morning, and another cleanup involving tourists happened Monday.

A few hours before the landing, Harbour Drive was the scene for the Pirates Pooch Parade. Mr. Chubbs, a pirate hat-wearing bulldog accompanied by Olivia Lomas, won the prize for best costume.

The theme for this year’s Float Parade was Celebrating the Seas, and East End earned first place and a CI$1,000 prize. George Town took second place and $500, while North Side took third place and $250.

Bodden Town came in first place for District Heritage Day, followed by West Bay and North Side.

Jesica Ebanks of North Side took home first place in the District Heritage Ambassador Costume Competition. Roseanne Myles of George Town took second, and Dea Ramoon of East End took third place. Ms. Ramoon was also named Miss Ingenuitive for her costume.

Another popular event was the Song Competition, which took place on the main stage Saturday night. Matt Brown took first place and $5,000 for his song “Mutiny.” Jah Mitch won second place and $3,000 for his song “Pirates Time,” while Erica Assai won third place and $2,000 for “All I Have.”

The Pirates Week Cardboard Regatta was open to two divisions this year, the Seniors (17 and up) and Juniors (16 and below). First place in the Senior division went to the Department of Planning, while second place went to Dolphin Discovery and Dolphin Cove. Third place went to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. The best sinking in the Senior division went to The Curse of the Brac Pearl.

First place in the Junior division went to Cayman International School’s Grade 8 Physics Class. CIS Grade 10 Physics Class won second place, while the Grade 9 Physics Class took third place. The best sinking in the junior division also went to the Grade 10 Physics Class from CIS.

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