August 18, 2022

Cayman Carnival Batabano set for its 34th carnival season

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Presented by telecom giant FLOW, the Cayman Carnival Batabano committee is gearing up for its 34th carnival season in the Cayman Islands with the re-introduction of the Kings and Queens costume competition and a number of events slated for its usual weekend spot on the Cayman calendar of events, May 4-6, 2017.

Local schools and individual junior bands are also set for Junior Batabano and Family Fun Day slated for its date the weekend before the adult parade April 29, 2017. ”

“With the endorsement and support of the Cayman Islands Government for decades, the Batabano street parade has grown significantly and has truly been an economic boost for local business as well as for tourism,” said Batabano Chairperson Donna Myrie-Stephen. “In recent years we’ve had more sponsors and spectators, and more masquerade bands introducing stunning costumes for the street parade each year. In 2017 we’re especially excited about re-introducing the Kings and Queens costume competition as well as a float category for the street parade, which will elevate the pageantry of the street parade as an even bigger attraction for spectators, as well as for participants.”

Mrs. Myrie-Stephen, who has chaired the Batabano Committee since 2001, said that the lineup of events during the Cayman Carnival Batabano weekend in 2017 include the carnival’s signature event, Le Masque, slated for Thursday May 4, 2017, featuring an exclusive showing of the Kings and Queens costumes. For the first time in the Caribbean, the Friday Night Fete sees the introduction of the Canadian-based “Soca or Die” concert on Harbour Drive May 5, 2017. Then the legendary Cayman Carnival Batabano street parade takes over Seven Mile Beach road on Saturday May 6, 2017 with up to 10 bands anticipated, along with floats and Kings and Queens costumes.

“Established in 1983 by the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, let there be no doubt – Cayman Carnival Batabano is here to stay,” assured Mrs. Myrie-Stephen, under whose leadership Batabano has successfully grown from a one-day stand-alone event for all ages to two carnivals, Junior Batabano and the Adult Batabano, in order to provide an appropriate carnival experience for Batabano’s future generations. “The Batabano Committee is the official authorized organizing body for this important cultural and tourism product for the Cayman Islands and we’re more excited than ever about this next carnival season.”

“Flow is a proud sponsor of Cayman Carnival Batabano, an association which dates back some16 years when we operated as Cable & Wireless then LIME,” said Julie Hutton, Head of Marketing for FLOW Cayman. “Once again we are delighted to have the opportunity to add our signature brand of excitement to the carnival that has enticed and attracted thousands of revellers from home and abroad. Flow continues to support the highly anticipated Batabano as we raise the bar even higher in 2017.”

In addition to the regular Junior Batabano and Adult Batabano weekend events, 2017 will also see a range of other events, including Jouvert, media launches, soca monarch competitions, costume and cocktail competitions, concerts, and jazz fusion events.

Another first for Cayman Carnival Batabano is the formation of the Cayman Islands Mas Band Association (CIMBA), whose elected representatives have been given a seat on the Batabano Planning Committee.

In a statement released through Cayman Carnival, newly Elected Head – Olujimi La Pierre – stated, “We appreciate the Batabano #Cayman Carnival organization for allowing the Mas Bands to have official representation on their committee. Everything happens in due time and I, with the band leaders, look forward to the 2017 season and plans the organization have presented.”

He went on further to explain, “Given the opportunity to serve as the first representative for the Cayman Islands Mas Band Association, I appreciate the respect and confidence my fellow band leaders have in me. Growing up in the carnival culture from here to Trinidad and Toronto I’ve enjoyed the energy from the music and masqueraders. Carnival is my favorite time of year! Like Peter Ram’s tune – All ah we! stand united “for the love of the music” and wanting to see our masqueraders and sponsors enjoy themselves to the max.”

Additionally, Cayman Carnival Batabano has always supported Cayman Brac’s carnival, Bracaanal, which occurs on the long weekend immediately following Batabano – May 12 – 15 2017. The two committees will be strengthening their ties, with Cayman Brac participating in the Adult Road Parade for the first time.

IMAGES: Cayman Carnival

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