Cayman’s popular Pirates Week remains on the calendar for November, but on a smaller scale than usual, festival general manager Melanie McField has confirmed.

“I think if we didn’t do anything at all that would negatively impact the festival,” McField told the Cayman Compass in an interview Saturday as the committee hosted its annual appreciation night for volunteers and sponsors at Cayman Cabana in George Town.

The events will begin on 5 Nov. with a ‘pirate raid’ at Sunrise Adult Training Centre and run through 11 Nov. in Grand Cayman. The festival will then move to Little Cayman on the weekend of 13-15 Nov.

This year there will be no events on Cayman Brac, McField noted.

With Cayman’s COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings still in place the committee had to strategise how it could safely hold the 43rd annual festival within the 250-people limit, she explained.

“It’s more community oriented, but we could not go this year without having Pirates Week as part of our calendar of events. It is in the heart of our community and it’s something that everyone looks forward to,” she said.

The committee, she added, has worked to ensure the festival provided a number of events that are in the community and in the schools, with activities for everyone to participate in.

This year’s theme for the festival, she said, is ‘Community = CayMunity’.

“Cayman Islands [is] community, togetherness, resilience,” McField said. “All of those words make up community and we have a very strong community here in Cayman, and I am proud to be a part of that and proud to be able to bring… probably the biggest community event to 2020.

“A lot of events have been cancelled this year because of COVID and we’re happy to say that we are moving forward and in the best way that we can.”

Pirates Week general manager Melanie McField, centre, presents Hurley’s Media representatives Shawna Marshall, left, and Ilse Dacker with an award at Saturday’s appreciation ceremony. – Photo: Reshma Ragoonath

However, this year’s festival, she said, will look different.

“We’re not going to have our usual float parade, landing, all those usual spectacles, but we will have the pirates making popup appearances at the libraries, the Sunrise Centre. We’re going to have an islandwide scavenger hunt, which is something new to the festival activities,” she said.

The committee, she said, will host a ‘flotilla’ boat parade from Hog Sty Bay, which will be led by a party boat. This will be in lieu of the annual float and street parade through the capital. Further details the boat parade will be released later on, she said.

“We’re really looking forward to that. That’s one of the bigger events that is happening on our schedule and we’re also still having our costume competition as well as our national song competition. For those party enthusiasts, we’re having a party night downtown on the Friday,” she said.

The committee is still selecting the venue for its signature party event.

“We’re selling a maximum of 250 tickets,” she said, with no tickets sold once that number is reached.

A turtle release has also been planned as part of the festival activities.

Here’s the tentative schedule of events: Pop-Up Pirate Events 2020

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