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Crowds Celebrate Culture on Cardinall Avenue

Community 24 Jan, 2024 Follow News

Hon. Premier, Ms. Julianna O’ Connor Connolly with Ms. Annelee Ebanks

Miss Universe Cayman Islands, Ileann Powery, Elaborates on Importance of Caymanian Culture

Cayman Islands Folk Singers Entertained With Traditional Caymanian Songs

Nasaria Suckoo Chollette, with Husband Randy on Drums

Radiance Dance Studio Performed a Traditional Dance

The Drum Circle Was Joined By Many Audience Members

By:  Flynn Bush

On the National Heroes holiday, the year’s awardees and their families were present in Heroes Square as the recognition ceremony took place.  It was an occasion of great importance and worth.  Several hours after the ceremony was over, however, the focus turned to pure, wholesome fun as Cardinall Avenue became the ‘place to be.’

With this year’s category for the recognition awards being related to Caymanian culture, and the persons who have promoted and preserved it, the event afterward also followed that vein.  So, with a stage set up in front of the former Scotia Bank building, food and craft booths to the right, and fun activity stations littered along the length of the blocked-off street, hundreds of Caymanians came to celebrate.

On the stage, a variety of acts and performers entertained the crowds who were very appreciative and enthusiastic.  Jevy Ebanks and Mona Lisa Tatum Meade expertly emceed, and introduced the likes of Lammie Seymour, Swanky Kitchen Band, and the Cayman Islands Folk Singers.  Additionally, there was also a performance by Radiance Dance Studio, and the ever skillful and talented Nasaria Suckoo Chollette, with her husband Randy Chollette providing background drums, entertained with poetry and a few Caymanian stories that had the audience members laughing heartily.  In addition to the stage performances, the games, face-painting, and drum circle stations provided each family member something to do and enjoy.  Miss Universe Cayman Islands, Ileann Powery, who performed with the Folk Singers, was ecstatic about the event.  “This event is to celebrate who we are as a people, those who came before us and those who are to come after us as well” she remarked.  “This was the first time back performing with the Folk Singers as Miss Universe Cayman and I am glad I got the chance to spread our culture the way that I am always seeking to do.”

Of course, no Caymanian culture event would be complete without food.  Not just any food, mind you.  There must be a great deal of availability of the food that warms your belly and brings back memories of past meals enjoyed while growing up here in these three islands.  The food stalls provided just what was needed; lots of good Caymanian cuisine, prepared by local hands, and served with a smile. 

This event, organized primarily by the Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with members of the community, was a perfect example of the type of clean family-friendly fun our ancestors would have on occasions such as this.  Sure, this is on a larger scale but that is only because our population is a great deal larger than it was fifty or seventy years ago.  On this day, it was almost as if we stepped back in yesteryear for a short time; and it was a good feeling.

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