There will be no Christmas lights displayed at the Captain Theo Bodden Home on South Church Street, South Sound this year, due to concerns around the possible spread of the COVID-19.
It is the first time lights will not be displayed at the property since the late 1950’s when Captain Bodden started lighting up the yard for the enjoyment of onlookers near and far, according to his twin daughters Maurine and Maxine Bodden.
The ladies said the large crowds that gather at the home’s yearly lights display to celebrate the festive Season, are too much of a risk during this time of heightened concern for public safety.
They added that, “with all the breaches that have been happening with returning travellers,” they thought it would be best to forgo the display this year to protect the community, as well as their own health, which they said was also a consideration.
“We don’t want to add to the excitement and at 75 years old we are also considered vulnerable,” noted Maxine Bodden.
She added that just before the decision was made to cancel this year’s display there were people opening the gate, coming into the yard and allowing their children to run free with no supervision.
“We had tree trunks and everything that we were moving around and that can be dangerous,” noted Mrs. Bodden.
“We loved doing it but we just cannot take any risk and it’s better for everybody’s sake - I think - if we put it off this for this year,” she remarked.
In fact, many residents will have a rather different experience than the familiar lights displays at the homes of prominent Caymanian families this year, as COVID-19 concerns have caused major changes to traditional lighting activities around the Island of Grand Cayman.
Another notable amendment to the usual bevy of lights that mark the Holiday Season in Cayman, is the fact that, though there will indeed be a lights display at the Rex Crighton property, along the Spotts Highway, there will be not entry allowed on to the property to the public.
A representative speaking on behalf of the family told the Caymanian Times that the decision was made in order to mitigate any risk caused by the gathering of large crowds.
“We sometimes have up to 2 thousand people in our yard and with everything that has been happening, we just don’t think it’s wise to do so this year.,” noted a Crighton family member.
As a result of the changes, popular excursions that feature these lights arrangements/displays, such as the National Trust for the Cayman Islands’ (NTCI) Christmas Lights Bus Tour, will be taking patrons to the NTCI Heritage Sites instead, where carolling and refreshments will be enjoyed, according to NTCI Historic Programme Manager Stuart Wilson.
“The Christmas Bus Lighting Tour will be more centred around the Heritage Sites this year, with several of our sites being lit up for the Festive Season.
“We will be taking our usual caravan of three buses - provided courtesy of Webster’s Tours - throughout the Districts to our very special Heritage Sites, where we will enjoy the singing of carols and light refreshments under the stars,” noted Mr. Wilson.