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Batabano is back!

Front Pages 13 May, 2022 Follow News

Batabano is back!

By Christopher Tobutt

Batabano is back, as the carnival atmosphere hit the streets The adult parade started from just behind Cost-U-Less, shimmered its way up the Esterly Tibbetts Highway, and then turned towards Seven Mile Beach before making its way towards George Town before finishing up at the Festival Green in Camana Bay, where the children’s festival had been taking place, with its very own food vendors, and costume competition.

As usual, you could hear the parade before you could see it. The beat of loud Soca music floats through the air, getting all the people who had lined West Bay Road, know that now was the time to get their cameras and phones ready. At first there were the carnival queens in their beautiful outfits – dark red, pink, light blue and Donna Myrie-Stephen, who helped start the festival back in 1983, was in a magnificent golden-winged outfit. Next came a sea of purple T-shirts, as Fete-for-a-Cause Mas Band, with 100 percent of the money they raise going to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society. Everyone was moving and grooving, and that bass was splitting the air – soca you feel with your whole body blasting from the huge speakers on the back on the truck. Other Participating Mas Bands this year included Tribal Carnival, and Mas Azúcar is Cayman’s Latin fusion carnival experience, showing an explosion of energy from the sweet sounds of salsa, reggaeton, merengue and of course some soca too.

The Honduras Carnival Band looked both beautiful and dignified with long flowing dresses and gentlemen dressed in hats and white suits. There was Shilpa’s Indian Band, Coconuts, and the Filipino Band, who all looked very smart in black costumes with lime green masks. There was also the Cuban band, and Dominican Band which was particularly impressive, with amazing carnival gods and monsters, and then there was the Pirates’ Week Band. Reba Dilbert has been making the very best carnival costumes, year after year and this year she was back, with a stunning selection of beautiful costumes shining and glittering in the sun. Her costumes are unique and distinctive. There was even a mermaid in one of the floats, with people having their photos taken with her. There seemed to be lots of people from overseas who were standing by the roadside, some of them seeing the festival for the first time. Alfonso from London said, “I am really enjoying it. The colors and the sounds are just amazing, the vibration is really intoxicating.”

The Family Fun Day and festival at Camana Bay Green gave a more child-friendly alternative, but there were still fabulous costumes to admire and enjoy. There were more than 20 food vendors, DJs and health & wellness stations. There were also arts, crafts and games so there was something for everyone.

"We are super excited that the Cayman Islands has been welcoming back visitors to our shores again and is now in a position to be able to allow national cultural events like Batabano to resume," said Batabano Chairperson, Donna Myrie-Stephen.

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