Government pushes carnival consolidation

| 03/05/2019 | 92 Comments
Cayman News Service

Batabano carnival

(CNS): Government has announced that from next year the two annual May street carnivals will be consolidated into one event, after complaints about the split in 2016 between carnival organisers which led to two separate weekends of street parades. In a government release, officials said that Batabano and CayMAS will take place on the same day — the second weekend in May 2020 —  instead of a week apart, and follow the same route. The decision to hold the carnivals on the same weekend follows talks between stakeholders and government due to concerns from hotels and traders.

It is not clear, however, how the organisers have responded. According to the release, they met with government just yesterday, Thursday, when the proposal was shared for the national carnival. Officials said they were “committed to continuing dialogue with stakeholders until plans for carnival season 2020 are finalised”.

The competing carnivals this year are nevertheless expected to go ahead on two separate weekends, with Batabano this weekend (2-5 May) and CayMAS in two weeks time (16-20 May).

However, if this new plan goes ahead, the longest established of the two carnivals, Batabano, will lead the procession with Swanky’s CayMAS following, with two separate parties after the street parades.

The carnival committees and the culture, commerce and tourism ministries have been involved in ongoing discussions since last year about the split and the emergence of competing carnivals on consecutive weekends, the release stated.

Government said that complaints about the split ranged from the perception that it was “unnecessary” to have separate carnivals to the impact on vendors and hotels, who complained about the weekend road closures.

Commerce Minister Joey Hew said a team from his ministry, including the George Town manager and a National Roads Authority staffer, helped to finalise the route, with input from the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands. Hew said the proposed route should cause the least amount of disruption to the flow of traffic and minimal complications to the port’s heavy equipment drivers.

The new plan will also diminish the impact of competing events on attendance at smaller events, officials said. For example, CayMAS previously clashed with Braccanal, the Batabano-endorsed event on Cayman Brac. That event will continue to be celebrated on Discovery Day weekend next year.

Leading up to the adult street parade, Batabano and CayMAS will still host separate parties, J’ouverts and song competitions, while the Batabano-organised Junior Carnival on Grand Cayman will take place on the first weekend in May.

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said the carnivals are popular additions to the tourism calendar as there are no other major events at this time of year. He said the new approach will help optimise the experience for locals and visitors.

The government financial support for the carnivals will also be switched from the Ministry and Department of Tourism to the Cayman National Cultural Foundation under the Ministry of Culture. Government plans to contribute to both Batabano and CayMAS through comparable annual grants and purchase agreements.

“Working through CNCF, which has technical expertise in the field, the ministry responsible for culture is pleased to take this opportunity to embed the role of carnivals in local culture,” said Culture Minister Dwayne Seymour. “The ministry and its statutory authorities will continue to liaise with our tourism-focused colleagues on carnivals and other aspects of cultural tourism.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Women are objectified in the Caribbean, cayman is no different. It happens every day but is on full public display in the parades.. that’s the only difference

  2. Anonymous says:

    As a visitor, I was completely underwhelmed. What a load of dross. So sticking a feather on your head constitutes a costume? And then to venture into town and be subjected to a load of smashed out of their skulls Jamaicans grinding the night away? Wake up Cayman. I thought you were better than this. Obviously not.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey “Tourist”!! Why you blamin’ Jamaicans?????
      That’s why I know you are not a tourist. LOL How would you even know the difference?
      This was NOT a Jamaican festival. This is a Caymanian festival. LMAO

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, it is festival created by expats (mainly Trinidad but also and elsewhere in the Eastern Caribbean) and supported at its inception by the Rotary Club. It is certainly not culturally a Caymanian thing – in fact far from it. Backing up – as a dance move imitated by many participants – is very much Jamaican (and not typically Caymanian).

        • Anonymous says:

          Those participants being discussed were NOT all Jamaican no matter what you say. The point is, stop blaming everything on Jamaicans. This wAS not A Jamaican NOR A tRINI PARADE.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I felt a bit sorry for the van-loads of arriving bewildered mid-day visitors that got dropped off on the far side of the bypass, were made to climb over the highway wall with their wheelie bags, thru the derelict lot and hike in to Beach Suites (or whatever it’s called now). Super lame that the hotel hadn’t anticipated their arriving guests with a golf cart or something!

  4. Anonymous says:

    So where was JU JU Suckoo Eden and the rest of the moral police protesting. Or were there too many votes to be lost !!!! !!! !

    • Anonymous says:

      One month ago, hundreds of church goers showed up to fort street to protest granting equal human rights to a homosexual Caymanian woman.

      One week ago, a child molester was given a slap on the wrist while the man with a cannabis spliff is treated worse.

      One day ago, thousands of Caymanians marched down the tourism capital half naked while drunkenly dry humping.

      Not a peep about the child molester or dry humpers from the church. You can’t make this sh!t up. Their hypocrisy is too much and exactly why I left!

    • Dave S says:

      Oh so govt is involvd now? Why didnt govt of the l980’s some still in the LA try to help dear Mr. D Webb when he struggled to bring in the first carnival to Cayman? is it because he was a man of color trying to do it for the first time in history? for some covert reason govt is involved with fun and adventure events now adays. Why didnt the govt of the l980s help him and give him a govt grant, he was hit very hard financially and took years to recover from that blow. Is some elite globalist or Dart involved this time with the two carnivals combined? I dont buy it, because tourists on 7 mile beach come here to enjoy local cuisine and entertainment, fun, and adventure, thats what its for! Whos really beneffitting from 2 carnivals combined? it makes more business sense to hold them separately as different events different dated and venues!

      • Anonymous says:

        What exactly is your point? That 30 years ago the government wasn’t involved because the organiser was black? What does that have to do with there being one or two parades now?

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman’s LGBTQIA community was actually represented at Batabano. I saw flags and people from the community doing exactly the same things the straight people were doing. There was no segregation or ill will either way. Shut up please.

    • Anonymous says:

      And let’s hear from the leadership of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation who seem to be too busy having cocktail parties and photo ops .

    • Anonymous says:

      Ju Ju is busy ~f+++++g up further the education system. What a giggle to make spelling a priority in schools when many of the teachers can’t spell.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A sterilized version of Batabano is in this video link. The elderly am in the wheelchair had fun:

  6. Anonymous says:

    The parade is best viewed at Dukes. You can see the pretty costumes, listen to the loud music, and not have to witness the mess that ensues after drinking vodka in the hot sun for four hours.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Should have kept it on the long weekend. Hopefully the parades still end at Seven Mile Beach

  8. Anonymous says:

    I do not attend this spectacle anymore because the same ones condemning gay marriage are the same hyprocrites out watching and enjoying the lewdness but i guess it is ok because its not 2 gay people doing it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you kidding me, there were a lot of gay people in this parade in fact one group was even wearing their flag..check out the Compass video and you will see them.

      Stop being hypocritical..

  9. Anonymous says:

    Consolidating the two “festivals” into one is a good idea (as they were originally before the different organizers couldn’t get along). However, if they could be combined into zero “festivals” that would better. It would reduce the number of third rate embarrassments by two.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I normally try to catch it on SMB but was not able to this year. Watched near Rackham’s. BIG mistake. It was gross, sad, shameful and over the top, unnecessarily vulgar. Ladies, your mothers would be so ashamed of you. However, I understand that is what you’re all about and it is done for this reaction as well as public sexual gratification. It looked like a competition to see who could achieve the most pumps on your bunky from those skinny boys following you like dawgs. Your fishnet stocking ripped like you’d been vandalized. All ya’ll like dawgs in heat.

    I was not surprised though. I’ve attended Batabano for over 25 years and I know what to expect. By the time they reach town, it has always disintegrated to this. I don’t understand what kind of judging is happening. None of the mas bands were intact by the time they reached the Government building where the judges sit. Costumes are ripped and falling apart.
    Anyway. I look forward to CayMAS since it starts in town. At least these things start kind of classy. Plus! You know when CayMAS is over because they have a clean-up crew bringing up the rear cleaning up the trash left behind. (Impressive!)

    Let’s hope CayMAS can remain classy until the end. Prove a point that it CAN be done well…

    • Yes man says:

      CayMas…… Classy…. LMAO!!! OKAY THEN!

      • Anonymous says:

        When I read what that said, it saw the word ‘hope’.

        Here it is again; “Let’s hope CayMAS can remain classy until the end. Prove a point that it CAN be done well…”

        Yes man needs remedial reading comprehension training… LMAO!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Consolidating the two “festivals” into one is a good idea (as they were originally before the different organizers couldn’t get along). However, if one were to be held during world carnival season (February ) and the other in May that could also work. It would create 3 street parades for the year which would either stimulate more interest or bore us all to death!

  12. Anonymous says:

    If you all think this is the final word on this, you clearly don’t know the people behind these two events (and their connections) very well.

  13. Anonymous says:

    For those saying the style of dance and excessive drinking is not a part of the culture, pick up a history book and learn about the history of the Caribbean. And, for those who find it distasteful—do not attend.

    Overall, we need to respect each other’s way of life…I would never sit in a pub and watch a sports game getting drunk with “mates”. But, I don’t judge it…as people we all live, love, and celebrate differently…lighten up and tek a wine!

    • Anonymous says:

      10:14pm CAYMAN culture not Caribbean Culture……..Cayman is much different than the other islands with its near isolation from them

  14. Anonymous says:

    Happy dry-hump month! Don’t forget to tithe.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great from 2 to 1. Looking forward to it getting to zero. This is NOT Cayman culture. This is imported from other Caribbean islands. Cayman became a success in part because we were different than most of the other islands and we should have stayed that way.

    • Huh says:

      Different how?

      • Anonymous says:

        No clear institutionalized racism. No hatred for the British. Generally being married before having large families. Welcoming outsiders. Law and order and general safety. That kind of different.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Push it real good.

  17. Anonymous says:

    How much does CIG contribute to the parades?

    • Anonymous says:

      That would be from
      CITA money

    • Anonymous says:

      CIG contributes thousands of dollars to these events in order to promote the Christian values displayed by all of the church-goers in costume

  18. Anonymous says:

    What does bending over and rubbing your anus on people have to do with Cayman Culture?

  19. Anonymous says:

    we need a LGBT LOVE parade if this shit is allowed – CaymESS

    • Anonymous says:

      Knew this wouldn’t be long…Human rights again eh??

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone simply needs to join in together. Why be separate?

    • Anonymous says:

      For your information the LGBTQ community was well represented..Flags and all. You should have come out and you would have seen for yourself..

  20. Anonymous says:

    All this carnival got me feeling kinda stabby

  21. Anonymous says:

    Whether its dodging bullets in west bay, bad drivers, butt pirates in November or butt swingers in May……its NOT Caymanian! Camankind is about scuba diving, family time, beach time, fishing, some drinks and chillin and such…..that’s as simple as it needs to be promote tourism. All this foolishness about we need something beyond what we have naturally is just that a waste.

    • Anonymous says:

      @2:05pm – you do realize that Batabano was started BY Caymanians. This was not imposed on Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        yes a Caymanian that wanted $$$$$$ give me dolla, dolla, dolla, dolla give dolla, give me dolla. its started by a Caymanian just like every disaster here…even the REAL ESTATE biz was started by a Caymanian. sell sells sell

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree with your wholeheartedly. As an aside, your first sentence is very lyrical, and has a certain musical cadence. Well done!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds pretty boring…

  22. Johnny Be Good says:

    When big egos are involved in conception, planning & management of any cultural event it’s not in keeping with what these events are supposed to represent. This just shows we are so juvenile about this compared to other Caribbean cultural celebrations.

    This is such a disgrace when there are Caribbean cultural celebrations of much higher quality and feel of inclusiveness in North America.

    Our original roots have been forgotten, time to go recall what was good, build upon that and make these events better.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except Batabanoo (like Pirates Week) is NOT a “Caribbean cultural celebration”. It was a Rotary fundraiser that morphed into a multi-stakeholder fundraiser that’s morphed into a tourism event (so essentially a national fundraiser). – And getting money out of other people is as Caymanian as it gets. – But Batabanoo is no more a “Caribbean cultural celebration’ than it is a name for turtle tracks on the beach. (That bit of ‘foklore’ was made out of whole cloth to give the fundraiser some culture. People pay extra for culcha doncha know?) – What next? Kaabboo, the multinational cultural celebration whose name means One-Love in Amerindian? (Please feel free to use that next year guys, any party is a good party and one that brings in tourists is a great party.)

  23. Rainbow Pride says:

    What a joke.

    People are so worried about Gay Marriage, but dont think a thing about the near sex acts that are deplicted during this drunken display called a parade of heritage.

    Think again, Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      and don’t forget the stabbings last night…every time we have a Sex Festival we have stabbings

  24. Anonymous says:

    I suppose having one crap parade is better than having two of them.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians never got along and will never will! It’s all a disgrace that we have a junior batabano. Why are we training our children to become vulgar in our streets once a year?

    • Anonymous says:

      Completely agree. Young girls – some appearing to be underage — emulating rear-entry sex with drunken men. It is beyond vulgar. I am Caymanian and these acts and these events do no represent me at all. Sure it is fine for people to say “just stay home, then”, and I will.

      I want you all to consider what image we are projecting to the visitors that are here during these events. We are saying that we embrace intoxication, debauchery, unprotected sex, or nearly anything else in the name of money. Where is our pride Cayman? I used to walk in the parades, and they had class. There were families involved, and food and games for the children. Not any more. It’s an anything-goes, and if that is what we are selling to visitors, we have lost our identity.

      • Anonymous says:

        many many a rape at these events that no one speaks of….

        • Anonymous says:

          huh? you know more than the police?

          • Anonymous says:

            95% of all rapes go unreported… do you tell your husband you got shit faced with your girlfriends and………………………….

      • Anonymous says:

        You get free rubbers with some costumes…

      • Anonymous says:

        Why do you go watch year after year if you don’t like it?..The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result…

    • Anonymous says:

      7:16pm Caymas and Batabano promo videos are much better

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for posting that. For those who didn’t view, it’s a link to the Caymankind commercial and it’s one that I wholly believe in. Yes, it hits on selling points to our beautiful islands, but doesn’t focus in any way on the tawdry/cheap side. It’s what Cayman once was, and maybe can become again.

      • Anonymous says:

        8:09pm YOU ARE SO CORRECT! The CI DOT Video of 2013 says it all; THAT’S CAYMAN! This crazy festival that was imported for $$$$$ Batabano and Caymas is NOT Caymankind at all!

  26. Anonymous says:

    These parades are a disgrace, I am embarrassed to be a Caymanian when i see these displays of vulgarity being treated as our cultural celebration. Aren’t we better than this?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Make Bracanal Great Again! #MBGA

    • Anonymous says:

      Bracanal is even more slutty if such a thing is possible. How much alcohol can one person consume and still remain alive? That question answered yearly on a massive scale during Bracanal. This year is charted to be a new record; instead of the usual three days, it will be five days.

      I pray nobody is injured. That is as good as it gets.

      • Sarah says:

        Awww, but i’m sure one time or another you carried on “slutty”. Braccanal is an amazing event for tourism for the Sister Island of Cayman Brac. You know that carnival is like so if you don’t like it Why watch? I bet you’re the same one freshening your social media page to see everything that happens just to comment something negative! You all sit can complain about Cayman Brac being a “social state” so if there is an event to help inject funds to all businesses what’s the problem? Ohh wait, you’re the problem Negative Nancy!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Pumm Pumm!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Babies cry and want their own way…….and so do Carnival Committees. How does costume sales, excessive alcohol consumption and bare ass = Culture?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Maybe this time the organisers will actually advise the downtown businesses that they block access to in advance of doing it, so that businesses can make appropriate plans. Or maybe the RCIPS will, as they give the approval. Does everyone only think about themselves?

  31. Anonymous says:

    what is this “Caymas? foolishness?
    Decades ago Gov’t started Pirates Week Festival as a means to boost tourism numbers during the slow season. Tourism is now at its height and growing.? don’t think so!

    Does this vulgarity on the streets help us in anyway

  32. Anonymous says:

    Thank the good Lord for the T & A display , masquerading as culture .

  33. Anonymous says:

    It is time to rise above sexually explicit behavior during parades. Have a choreographer to organize the event.
    In the light of sky rocketing abuse of children and women public imitations of sexual acts must be banned.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Finally someone had enough sense to see that this needed to be done..

  35. Anonymous says:

    Who is having the common sense?

  36. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure what this has to do with Dart?

  37. Anonymous says:

    Another huge win for CIG.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Common sense prevails.

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