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2nd annual Pride parade planned for July

Local News 03 Jul, 2022 Follow News

2nd annual Pride parade planned for July

Last year’s Pride event was a huge success Photos Thomas Williamson

Noel Cayasso-Smith at Pride 2021

By Lindsey Turnbull

Cayman’s LGBTQ community is gearing up for the second annual Pride parade, following on from last year’s successful event, with a bigger and better event that will be an entertaining occasion with something for everyone.

The parade begins from Public Beach on West Bay Road at 5pm on Saturday 30th July and will make its way to the Festival Green in Camana Bay, where food, drinks and entertainment will available through the evening and into the night.

This year’s event will have an international feel, with eventgoers flying in from the United States, from places such as Miami, Atlanta and New York, visitors keen to celebrate Pride in an inclusive and safe, beautiful environment such as Cayman.

“There are no restrictions from the Ministry as far as Covid restrictions, and kids are allowed to participate this year, however the PDA rule is still in place this year,” organiser Noel Cayasso-Smith, the President of Cayman LGBTQ Foundation, said. “Parents were concerned about this in particular because they did not take their kids to Batabano because of the behaviour. We don’t mind people walking along holding hands, but it has to be respectful.”

He said that the organisers were also asking that people dress appropriately for the event because if they are not, they will be turned away and asked to change. No alcohol will be permitted during the parade, so organisers will be giving out soft beverages to participants during the walk.

Mr Cayasso-Smith said they were particularly grateful to the number of organisations that were coming forward this year with sponsorship, a great many more than last year when the inaugural event took place when people were keen to see how it went before committing support. The success of the first year’s parade has clearly galvanised companies and businesses into supporting this year’s event.

“It’s great to see their interest,” he confirmed. “We are particularly grateful to Dart for letting us use their Festival Green for after the parade.”

The Cayman LGBTQ Foundation is currently reaching out to restaurants and bars to have some events in the lead up to the parade, whereby Pride colours are displayed and welcome drinks are provided, in a bid to raise awareness for the Pride parade.

The event itself will see two drag artists from New York perform on stage at the Festival Green, a DJ coming in from Miami, along with local DJs and other local talent.

“The planning has been great, although we are struggling for volunteers on the day itself because I think they want to enjoy themselves!” Mr Cayasso-Smith said.

There are three packages that can be bought which allows different types of entry. The VIP package is CI$550 and which provides a highball table for five people at the evening event down by the stage. VIPS also get a bottle of high premium rum, chasers, their own personal wait staff, a free t-shirt, entry to the Green, entry to the parade, a goodie bag and a water bottle, along with 30 free drinks tickets. There are only 15 tables available at the time.

The standard package is CI$100 and allows entry to the parade, a goodie bag, and access to the Green. The final package is CI$35 if you just want to have access to the Festival Green and participate and see the show. This package includes five food and drink tickets to be used at the Festival Green on the night of the event.

On the Friday (29th July) before the parade there will be a pre-party at The Bevy (the old Treasure Island complex) from 7pm to midnight and this will be where people can collect their t-shirts and wristbands, and sign the terms and conditions for participation.

People can also attend a pre-event on 23 July on Seven Mile Beach between 1 and 6pm where they will be raising the Pride flag to kick start the celebrations. They are hoping that businesses around the island will also raise their Pride flag that day.

Proceeds from Pride will go to the creation of a shelter for Cayman’s LGBTQ community.

“Because of the success of Pride last year, a lot of people are getting the confidence to come out and now they are facing a lot more stigma and discrimination from families and friends. We need the shelter so we can support them on their journey,” Mr Cayasso-Smith stated. “That is my goal this year.”

Go to Eventpro to get your tickets: https://eventpro.ky/buytickets/cayman-pride-2022/

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