CayMAS brings colour sound and excitement to the streets
By Christopher Tobutt
CayMAS is back with a bang and a splash, a shimmer and a shine. There were lots of fun events, spread between Thursday 29 June and Monday 4th July. But the highlight had to be the street parade on Saturday which started right down near Eden Rock and wound its colorful way up the waterfront ending at the Public Beach. Bystanders including many tourists took photos and videos with their phones as it passed by and everyone had a great time.
It was a lot of fun and all this year’s mas bands with wings and colorful feathers were there, as music boomed and rumbled out of the giant speakers on the backs of giant sound trucks like a huge soca earthquake. Not everyone’s the same, and you can choose a mas band that suits your personality. You can either go in the finery, of if you prefer you can still join in – in one of the T-shirt mas bands. Swanky International has always strived to offer top DJ’s with their huge sound trucks, and there were mobile bars too. Kalabbra is another great mas band with some incredible costume choices. Liquid Ice is a T-shirt band and it was very cool, and Cayman’s boutique-style mas band, Iconz had colourful and unique costumes, inspired from Cayman’s natural beauty. Quinntessential Movement is a mas band with a difference, an exercise studio taken to the streets, and the now-familiar Chicken Run mas band which made its first appearance back in 2006 at Batabano. Azucar International is Cayman’s very own Latin fusion carnival experience, providing a big explosion of dance energy to the sweet sounds of salsa, reggaeton, merengue and yes, just a hint of soca too. There was Fantasy with their amazing costumes and also Renegade and Party Animals. Fete for a Cause was there, with T-shirts raising money to fight Cancer If they still had any energy left, there was the big Swanky AfterMas with music from Iwer George and Farmer Nappy.
It’s was a big celebration of local and regional culture and local food and of course, it was also a chance to celebrate the end of Cayman’s mask rule. It’s surely good news for the local tourist stakeholders, bringing perhaps thousands to the island, with all that jump-jump-jumping helping to jump-start business for hotels, restaurants and tour operators, not just on the day of the march but also the whole five days.
The first event in nearly a week of CayMAS celebration was Soca on the Beach on 29 June, and next came ‘Blossom’ at the National Gallery on 30 June, and then there was great music at the Sundown event until the early hours of the morning. Things really got going with the Happy Parrot Block Party at Coral Beach on Friday night, and that was also the day of Duck Work pool party. CayMAS finished in fine style on July 4 with Paintopia Jouvert