Batabano and Caymas Carnivals are officially coming together to host one Caymanian Carnival, after there was some ambiguity around whether the two would ever have done so.
The Ministry of Culture, along with organizers from both entities, announced on 13th February that they have collectively decided to move forward with a ‘Carnival Week’ that will allow the various groups to host separate road parades and represent the best of Caymanian Carnival.
The plan moving forward will include a unified Cayman Carnival that will run between 9th to18th May, 2020.
The dates will consist of an opening parade on 9th May; produced by the Batabano Committee, followed by a Brac parade on 16th May, which will be produced by the Bracannal Committee.
The closing parade is set to take place on 18th May and will be produced by CayMAS.
Parade routes and road closures will be announced publicly in due course, according Ministry officials.
An official carnival calendar, listing the events each group will host will be published and available for members of the public. These may be obtained from Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF).
Cayman Islands Government Minister of Culture Dwayne Seymour alluded to the well publicized differences that previously existed between the groups in his comments and articulated his relief at finding an amicable solution “…..This was not an easy task and required many proposals and counter-proposals with stakeholders and vested parties; for which I am truly grateful.”
Mr. Seymour said at his request, the CNCF played a more active role in handling negotiations with all the groups.
“CNCF formed a carnival steering committee, consisting of representatives from each camp to ensure we were satisfied that an agreement with all parties could be reached,” he remarked.
“Today I am happy with those results,” declared the Minister.
Brent McLean, Chairman of Caymas noted, “All the stakeholders have a vested interest in ensuring that Cayman’s carnival experience and its events attract the widest possible support from visitors and locals and continues to grow our Islands’ Carnival Tourism product.
“I believe that these changes to the schedule have the potential to position Cayman as an attractive carnival destination within the region.”
Ms Ventisha Conolly of the Braccanal Committee also remarked on the developments.
“We are pleased with all the efforts that have helped bring us to a conclusion that facilitates residents and tourists being able to participate in both events and we look forward to a great turn-out on the Brac.”
“The Ministry and the National Cultural Foundation will continue to listen to stakeholders on an annual basis and make adjustments as necessary and thank all parties for their submissions, communications and the healthy discussions that have led to this decision,” noted a CNCF Senior Official.
Minister Seymour concluded his remarks, stating:
“We all encourage the community to try to make these dates work and a success for the Cayman Islands. I am excited to say that the time to go fete is almost upon us. The public and visitors to our shores can expect the same energy, excitement and cultural immersion they have come to love.
“The line-up of festivities will continue to include all of our favorite highlights: musical contests, concerts by highly-sought after artists, local art and food and vibrant parades that come together in our soca-fueled celebration of life, culture and camaraderie.”
The dates finally chosen for Cayman’s revamped Carnival Season were the result of careful analysis of regional activities during the year. Several other dates being canvased were deemed to not be adequate to render the most optimal results.