Applications for road closures for Cayman’s new carnival events have not yet been sent to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service for approval.
Last week, Culture Minister Dwayne Seymour announced changes to the initial single-carnival plan that was released last year.
He said stakeholders had agreed to what he called “one-carnival week” which will see two separate street parades this year under the umbrella of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation.
This means Batabano and CayMAS will still be held on separate days on Grand Cayman, requiring road closures on two days.
The RCIPS, responding to queries from the Cayman Compass Friday about the closures, said no applications had been received.
“The RCIPS notes the circulation from the Ministry of Culture in this matter and awaits receipt of road closure applications by the event organisers, which will be processed expeditiously,” the brief statement said.
The new ‘unified Cayman Carnival’ will run from 9-18 May and comprise an opening parade on 9 May produced by the Batabano Committee, the Braccanal parade on 16 May by the Bracannal Committee, and a closing parade on Discovery Day Monday, 18 May, by CayMAS.
The RCIPS did not respond to a question from the Compass on Police Commissioner Derek Byrne’s position on the carnival reverting to two separate days.
However, last November, while testifying before Finance Committee, Byrne said two separate events remained a concern for his team.
He said at that time, from the police perspective, the RCIPS queried why a single national event could not be held, since it was a matter of differences between two parties involved.
The RCIPS’s position, he had said, was not that the police service could not manage or handle both events, but that there were two events in quick succession requiring very high levels of policing on the days.
The new carnival compromise is a welcomed move for the Braccanal Committee, since the date of the CayMAS carnival will no longer clash with the street parade on Cayman Brac.
“We are pleased with all the efforts that have helped bring us to a conclusion that facilitates residents and tourists being able to participate in both events. We look forward to a great turnout on the Brac,” said Braccanal Committee member Ventisha Conolly last week in the Culture Ministry statement announcing the new carnival line-up.
Brent McLean, chairman of CayMAS, in that statement, said he believed that “these changes to the schedule have the potential to position Cayman as an attractive carnival destination within the region”.
CayMAS has already started preparations to host its street parade on Discovery Day; however, this year’s event will be missing ICONZ, one of its biggest bands.
The band, which is sponsored by Hurley’s Media Ltd, announced its withdrawal from CayMAS a week ago, saying this year it will be participating in the Batabano Carnival on Saturday, 9 May, after it was informed the CayMAS carnival road parade will take place on the Discovery Day public holiday.
ICONZ has participated in CayMAS since 2017.
The band said the CayMAS carnival conflicts with a major event that Hurley’s Media organises, the Cayman Billfish Rundown, an international fishing tournament commencing Monday, 18 May.
The CayMAS parade will feature Swanky International and five other bands.