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New band hitting the streets for Cayman Islands Batabano

George Town, Grand Cayman: There’s a new band hitting the streets for Batabano this year – Fenomenal. Fenomenal is the brain child of Sharon Ebanks.

Sharon’s trophies

Sharon is originally from the Brac, but she has called Grand Cayman home for many years, although you can still find her kicking back, at every opportunity, by the sea in the Brac!

Sharon’s love of Carnival dates back to 1983 when she participated in the very first Batabano, and fell in love with the music and the dance, she’s loved Carnival ever since. She participated in Batabano usually wearing queen costumes and has a shelf full of awards for her costumes. She has also been a ‘co-producer’ of Mas Bands.

Between 1999 and 2006 she experienced Carnival on a much larger scale, travelling to Trinidad to enjoy steel band music, carnival fetes and parades. This gave her the opportunity to meet and make contacts with the many costume producers and the people who work hard behind the scenes to put on the spectacle.

Sharon said “I love carnival and I’d been talking for some time about putting in a band for Batabano and this year I was spurred on by my son Rhys and his wife Sasha. They both agreed, I was well known and lots of people would come out and support the band.”

“My vision is to bring back the early Batabano spirit and offer costumes that will encourage people who used to take part to come back and play Mas. The costumes are being designed in such a way that you can show off as little or as much skin as you feel comfortable with. We’ll offer for the ladies both bikini or tankini tops as well as the option of shorts, tights or bikini pants.”

“The band will have four sections that will represent the Elements – each of the sections represents a different element of nature. The Caribbean Blue our beautiful Caribbean sea, Earth Angels to represent the earth, Rise of the Phoenix representing fire and Wrath of the Storm the wind. Each section, other than Earth Angels, has male and female costumes.”

“I will be setting up a Mas Camp at my home in April. The prototypes are being made in Trinidad to ensure we have costumes in time for the band launch but we will be producing costumes here. Shane James, creator of the costumes will be traveling from Trinidad to oversee production.”

“The band launch is going to take place at Mango Tree on Friday, March 8th starting at 5:30p.m. It’s going to be a fun night with fabulous soca music and of course we’ll have models showcasing the costumes.”

“You’ll be able to register for the band on the night as well as by emailing your details to [email protected] . “

Sharon continued “For people who have never played Mas before, if you love to dance you have to play Mas. The freedom of dancing in the street is so much fun. It is also rewarding, seeing people on the side of the road enjoying the sounds and sights of Batabano and a lot of them shouting out to you and dancing on the sidewalks, joining in the fun.”

“My band will have beautiful costumes, friendly, fun masqueraders and good music as well as refreshments. There is already quite a bit of interest, simply by me telling people of my intention to put a band on the road. I encourage you all to come out to the band launch and see the costumes.

“Batabano 2019 is going to be quite a spectacle and I encourage you to come out and be a part of this amazing event on Saturday, May 4.”



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