Launched in 1983 by the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, Cayman Carnival Batabano is held annually during the first week of May and is a vibrant highlight in the Island’s entertainment calendar.
The festival’s name, Batabano, is a salute to Cayman’s turtling heritage as the word batabano refers to the tracks left in the sand by sea turtles as they crawl onto the beach to nest. Finding these tracks was – and still is – a reason to celebrate!
Batabano is one of the biggest annual events in the Cayman Islands and is a Mardi Gras-like event featuring soca music (a type of calypso music with elements of soul that often features lyrics about life or politics), calypso bands, colourful costumes, dancing and a float parade.
See the streets of Cayman come alive with a kaleidoscope of music, dance and pageantry. Find yourself a good vantage spot along the route and watch as thousands of energetic revellers dance through the streets in spectacular costumes. You’ll even spot stilt walkers, acrobats and limbo dancers all grooving to the beat of live soca music.
The Street Parade will be starting at 1pm on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, behind Cost-U-Less. The bands will then head north on the highway, turning towards Seven Mile Public Beach, before heading back towards George Town along the West Bay Road. They will then make their way to the parade finale on the Festival Green in Camana Bay, followed by an after party from 5pm.
The public is invited to the Festival Green to view the fabulous costumes and enjoy a live DJ, food and drink from 20+ vendors, health and wellness stations and an evening of carnival fun. Entry fee is $5 per person (unless you're a carnival masquerader) and you can enter at the bridge adjacent to the Maris Avenue parking lot.
This is a fantastic afternoon of Caribbean culture not to be missed!
The Batabano Family Fun Day takes place from 12pm-4pm on the Festival Greeb in Camana Bay and will feature arts, crafts, games, music and food.