Come 7 May, a sea of colour and feathers will emerge for the Le Masque Ball, the first event on the calendar of this year’s Batabano Carnival.

The non-profit Batabano organisation is once again promising festivities for everyone to enjoy, including Outta De Blue Jouvert, the food festival and, of course, the pièce de résistance – the street parade – scheduled for 9 May.

“Batabano is so much more than just a road parade for masqueraders because it truly unites all demographics of people living in our community, while offering a tremendous economic boost for a wide cross-section of local entrepreneurs, including local artisans, cooks, restaurants, bars, retail stores, taxis, hotels, condos, DJs, singers, dancers, event rentals, security officers and cleaners,” said Batabano chairperson, Donna Myrie-Stephen. “It is certainly a thriving tourism product, yes, but Batabano, with its unique connection to turtle nesting season in our islands, really touches the hearts and spirits of our local people like no other event in Cayman does, and that alone makes it so special.”

Batabano parade
Cayman Carnival Batabano has grown from a small parade with homemade costumes and floats, to an international tourism attraction with hundreds of masqueraders donning professional costumes by local and international designers

Myrie-Stephen said that now, more than ever, people are truly realising just how much Batabano has always united Caymanians as one, along with people from all cultures and backgrounds who call Cayman home. “When a national event has been uniting people to celebrate together for almost four decades – for generations – it becomes part of your culture … part of your history. Our people say ‘Batabano’ with pride, knowing that it is so unique to our islands. You have real bragging rights when you are part of Batabano.”
With just nine weeks to Batabano, organisers say corporate sponsors are urgently needed at all levels to support the growing carnival.

“Our sponsorship drive began from last year with hundreds of local businesses being contacted, so we’re appealing to them all again to come and be part of Batabano,” Myrie-Stephen said, noting that sponsorship is critical in order to put on the type of high-end concerts and events that Cayman residents and visitors have come to expect. These concerts cost from $75,000-$100,000 per event to be done properly and to attract top entertainers, in addition to the street parade.

For more sponsorship details, email Myrie-Stephen at [email protected] or call 916-1740.

About Cayman Carnival Batabano

Batabano was established in 1983 by the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman. A salute to Cayman’s turtling heritage, Batabano is the native name for tracks left in the sand when sea turtles go ashore to nest, which has always been cause for celebration in the Cayman Islands. From humble beginnings, Cayman Carnival Batabano has grown from a small parade with homemade costumes and floats, to an international tourism attraction with hundreds of masqueraders donning professional costumes by local and international designers, parading down West Bay Road just steps from Cayman’s iconic Seven Mile Beach.

For more details, visit www.caymancarnival.com

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