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Local News 10 Oct, 2022 Follow News


By Staff Writer

Residents and visitors are in for a recurring treat of events over the coming weeks as Cayman hosts a packed calendar of events for the 2022 Pirates Festival.

Upgraded from the annual Pirates Week, the full-length, event-packed festival is the brainchild of Hon. Minister for Culture and Heritage, Bernie Bush, along with his colleagues; Hon. Minster for Social Development Andre Ebanks and Parliamentary Secretary Isaac Rankine.

The expanded festival kicks off this weekend and will be followed by a series of weekend activities over the coming three months.

This Friday October 14th will see activities focused on the Bodden Town Heritage Day events with a full day of fun-filled family cultural and festive activities in two locations with programmes organised for scheduled afternoon and evening events.

The following day, Saturday October 15th, action movies to North Side, not to be outdone with its own unique events reliving past Cayman life, an interactive maritime theme park, fireworks and other festivities until midnight.

That pattern will be repeated each weekend at districts in Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands.

The new extended Pirate Festival, coordinated by the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage of Min. Bernie Bush marks a significant upgrade from the popular annual Pirates Week launched in 1978 by the Tourist and Visitors Bureau as part of its tourism development strategy.

Over the years, it has grown to become a major event on Cayman’s annual calendar of cultural and historical events attracting huge crowds and massive participation by residents and visitors alike.

Steeped in Cayman’s history, the new Pirates Festival allows more time and a wider spread of events throughout the jurisdiction highlighting the culture of Cayman, especially rooted in maritime history and traditions.

The 12-week-long festival also targets selected locations for hosting various weekend events.

Members of the organising committee were the guests on the Caymanian Times programme Cayman Conversations outlining what’s in store for residents and visitors.

Committee member Ventisha Ebanks of the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage addressed the rationale behind the new format devised by Mins. Bush and Ebanks and Parliaenyary Secretary Rankine.

“They saw the need for having a little more time in between each of our heritage days so that folks could actually go and enjoy each one of them instead of having to pick and choose which one they could get to. So that was the catalyst for the elongated programme that we have.”

She said any initial reservations were quickly dispelled when the multi-weekend, multi-location concept was explained.

“Initially, everyone was taken aback…but once you explain why, and they kind of thought about it while… they actually get the full event, the full atmosphere.”

In addition to the social and economic advantages expected to accrue from extending the event across three months, there’s a strong historical and educational component, especially for young Caymanians - a point made by committee member Anita La Pierre.

“We're going to continue to educate people on what Cayman has to offer. So we're looking to carry this on and get school kids to become aware. There's so much history…it's just amazing. And I think we really need to get this out for our youth to understand."

That point of view is shared by committee member Feliciana Ebanks, who agrees that in addition to the festive aspect of the events, the historical element also needs to be highlighted and celebrated.

“I think it's something that the next generation needs to know and to see. So I do totally agree that this is something that needs to happen more often. We keep hearing Cayman culture is being lost, but I think this is an opportunity to ensure that this does not get lost. We should do everything about maintaining, preserving and passing on our culture.”

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