Tracks in the Sand: Batabano, The Cayman Carnival

The Batabano Carnival is somewhat legendary and now, going into it’s 31st year – it’s bigger than ever! The annual event sees thousands upon thousands of costumed revellers – both locals and internationals are welcome – take to the streets of the Cayman Islands totake part in .oats, dances and music. The energy at the carnival is memorable to say theleast – with thousands of locals and visitors .ocking to the streets to enjoy the parade, thecolourful and vibrant costumes, choreography and .oats that become more elaborate witheach passing year. The 2015 Batabano carnival will be held on Saturday 2nd May, with themore family orientated Junior Carnival following on Saturday the 5th April – make sure you bookmark both dates!

 

The Events

The main event begins with the Le Masque World Fete .ne dining and dinner event at the Royal Palms on Thursday the 1st of May. Not to miss on the Friday is the Happy Hour atthe Sky Lounge which starts at 5pm. Of course these are just appetisers for the MainEvent – the Adult Costume Parade and Street Party – which starts at Harbour Drive inGeorge Town Starting from 3 p.m. Whether you’re a seasoned carnival goer or a newbie – the Batabano Carnival will not disappoint. Expect a kaleidoscope of music – taking in both modern and traditional styles, dance and pageantry as well was stilt Walkers, acrobats,and limbo dancers that will lead the vibrant parade of masqueraders over the parade route that runs from the marquee, along West Bay Rd and .nally ending on Harbour Drive where the fun continues well into the night with a street party, live music by local artists and visiting entertainers and a big food festival – which will have more than 20 local vendors,alongside some of Cayman’s premiere restaurants, dishing up traditional island fare to help keep you on your feet!

On Saturday the 10th of May – the Cayman Carnival Junior Batabano and Family Fun Day kicks off with a parade from the old, along with costume contests at 1pm, followed by facepainting, mask decorating, snow cones and a whole host of other many family funactivities. This one’s advised for those travelling with the family – as the main Batabanocan become a little raucous.

 

History

The carnival was originally launched in 1983 by the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, andhas been held annually during the .rst week of May since then. The original name,Batabano, is meant as a salute to the islands’ turtling heritage as the word “batabano” literally refers to the turtle tracks that are left in the sand by sea turtles as they crawl ontothe beach to nest. Finding these tracks has always been a reason to celebrate! Thesedays the Batabano carnival is one of the biggest annual events in Cayman – featuring aMardi-Gras, soca music, calypso bands, colourful costumes, dancing and even a .oatparade. Of course the usual stands offering local and Caribbean cuisine and delicacies is ever-present too. The Junior segment of the Carnival is a more family orientated affair andwill be held, this year, on the Saturday 5th April 2015 – a month after the adult soiree. The highlight of the children’s event is the parade, which will see hundreds of children parade from the old Tower Building and right into George Town – bringing with them a a mass ofcolour, music and good-cheer.
If you’d like to learn a little more about the carnival then take a look here.

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