A flash of feathers and a riot of colour will be taking to the streets of Cayman this weekend as Batabano kicks into high gear.
All pre-events have led up to this – a party, a parade and a day on the water. You do not have to be dressed in costume to be a part of the action; you just have to be ready to dance and get into the festival spirit.
Here are the events to look forward to and how you can get your tickets (where applicable).
Outta De Blue
Harbour Drive in George Town is the place to be on Friday night. Outta De Blue features live artists, DJs and bars with plenty of space to dance until 1am (gates open at 9pm).
Headlining acts from overseas are Iwer George, otherwise known as The Water Lord, hailing from Trinidad and Tobago; and Marzville (The Wining Sensation) from Barbados. They are joined by international DJs Ang and Lantern, and local DJs Fross and Menace.
Tickets are available through www.eventpro.ky and are $25 in advance for general admission and $50 for VIP, which includes an all-you-can-drink separate bar and entrance.
Iwer George is one of Trinidad’s cultural icons who has consistently released hits from the beginning of his early career in 1987. His name is also synonymous with the Carnival season.
His most popular songs include: ‘Yes Iwer’, ‘Jump and Dunk’, ‘Ah Reading’, ‘Carnival Come Back Again’, ‘Gimme Ah Bligh’, ‘We Reach’ and, most recently, ‘Come to Meh’, ‘No Pain’, ‘Bubble’, ‘Savannah’, ‘Road March Bacchanal’, ‘Water Blessings’ and ‘Go’.
Today, he remains one of the industry’s greatest soca artists, largely for his style of singing, his hype and his ability to generate overwhelming crowd response.
Omar McQuilkin, better known in Barbados as Marzville, has represented his home island at the prestigious International Soca Monarch competition and has enjoyed success in the industry with his ‘Give It To Ya’ hit song, which has garnered over six million views on YouTube.
The Batabano parade is a sight to behold. The mas bands make their way down West Bay Road in a pageant of costumes and music. Don’t worry if you are not in the parade itself. Just find a comfy spot along the route and prepare to be dazzled by the designs and dancing. It all begins at Seven Mile Public Beach at 1pm and then slowly, but surely, makes its way past all the major hotels, restaurants and hot spots, constantly moving forward until it reaches Harbour Drive downtown.
There are 15 mas bands in the parade this year, so it will be something to see.
Last Lap and Food Festival
The fun does not stop once the parade reaches its destination. Now, it is time for the Last Lap party with three stages and music in the streets until midnight. There is no cover charge for this event – just show up and enjoy!
No doubt you will be feeling a bit peckish after a while, so head to Cardinall Avenue for the Food Festival featuring a host of local, Caribbean and international dishes. The vendors do not pack up until 11:30pm, giving you all night to sample their wares.
What is the best way to recover from a frenzied weekend of partying? Why, out on a boat, of course! Boating to Rum Point on Sundays is a local Cayman tradition year-round, but it is even more amazing on Batabano Sunday! Jump aboard one of the Batabano Mas Band boat cruises or cruise out on your own boat or a friend’s. Get creative and start a ‘Sunday Wear’ costume/swimwear trend, or just go casual. It is the only way to create a fitting close to Batabano 2019. Runs from noon to 6pm.