Carnival merger under threat

| 02/10/2019 | 69 Comments
Cayman News Service
CayMAS Carnival 2018

(CNS): The culture ministry has said that it still stands by the goal to have a single adult carnival in Cayman next May and the government-approved weekend for the combination of the Batabano and CayMAS parades on Grand Cayman remains 9 May. But organisers behind the CayMAS carnival have said that they will not be joining forces with Batabano and will instead hold their event on Discovery Day weekend (May 14-18) because government’s choice falls on Mother’s Day.

In a press statement, CayMAS said that moving the carnival to the weekend picked by government “will not be beneficial to the growth of our carnival tourism product based on our research and discussions with outside potential patrons”, as they do not believe people will take part in the carnival on Mother’s Day weekend

“CayMAS Carnival is not a government entity nor do we receive major funding from the government to operate,” the organisers said as they disputed the claims by government that businesses are adversely effected.

The organisers also conducted a survey of almost 800 people in a one-day snapshot on the 2020 dates, which showed that 88% voted for the carnival to take place on a holiday weekend and 81% voted against Mother’s Day.

But government believes that the carnivals should be consolidated and the most suitable schedule is to hold junior carnival on 2 May and both adult carnivals on the second weekend in May, leaving the Braccanal, the Cayman Brac carnival, to take place on Discovery weekend without clashing with any events on Grand Cayman.

Government said it had proposed the simultaneous staging of the two carnivals for a number of reasons. One was to avoid the cumulative loss of business experienced by Grand Cayman merchants in the Seven Mile Beach area associated with road closures on two consecutive weekends. The ministry said the road closures also create a strain on police resources.

However, CayMAS have said that with strategic management, the main West Bay Road need only be closed for around two hours and that the carnival is willing to compensate the RCIPS for the additional work.

Officials at the ministry said they appreciated the cultural contributions of all Carnival mas bands but were “compelled to maintain support” for a combined carnival parade.

“We remain open to constructive dialogue with all carnival organisers,” said Culture Minister Dwayne Seymour. “At the same time our position is that any developments must take place within the framework of one Cayman Carnival. The arrangements that all parties agreed following a year of discussions still offer the best way forward for all stakeholders. It also provides a sustainable foundation for the continued growth of local carnivals,” he said. noting that other larger Caribbean countries have one annual carnival.

It is not clear whether government intends to resist CayMAS plans by preventing the road closures if, as appears to be the case, the organisers press on with their aim to hold that carnival on Discovery weekend.


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Comments (69)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is what people in Cayman arguing about?!?! Carnival?!?! Like really? Is it that serious? Compared to Trinidad, Jamaica and Brazil is there really any need for this? #justsaying

  2. Anonymous says:

    Whatever parade there should be some standards of decency. When I saw a woman urinating on a police car that was it for me. It’s too trashy and not entertaining.

    • Anonymous says:

      And that’s not the nastiest thing I’ve witnessed at carnival – in front of tourists kids no less. If people want to behave in seriously depraved manners, let them do that at home, or in a country (not naming any names) that embraces it. This isn’t part of Cayman culture – Batabano didn’t even exist until the mid-80s and Rotary’s version was nothing like this degenerate crap. It’s far worse than Pirates Week ever was. Pirates Week was a lot of drunkenness, but carnival is drunkenness mixed with fetish porn.

  3. Karma King says:

    “Greed is so destructive. It destroys everything.” ~Eartha Kitt~
    Exhibit A: Swanky & Caymas

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  4. A Concerned Caymanian says:

    Hi All, I (and certainly a greater number of the native Caymanians on the electorate) certainly agree with the return of Pirates Week in it’s original form. While Batabano have some cultural value to offer, however, this event is nothing like Pirates Week that represented a time for families, throughout the islands, to visit and partake with each districts’ cultural heritage day in food, local crafts, and hand-made local goods, including thatch hats and so forth.

    But, it’s one thing to forget our place in the scheme of things in relation to organizing events for a select few to profit and to justify some type of entertainment for its own sake, which is, by the way, what has occurred with all these current Cayman events. However, it is totally another for us natives to take a position of total disregard for and lower our own standards to accommodate events which are clear distasteful and of little / no cultural value that, not even, we would want to attend ourselves them, much less support them, other than to be caught with NO events in Cayman to speak of.

    Frankly, this situation is unacceptable and our forefathers who establish the previous events would be seriously ashamed of us and have probably already turned in their graves – I can just hear them ‘screaming at the top of their lungs’, so you don’t like the name ‘Pirate Week’ change the name, but PLEASE leave the event (Restore them NOW) as it should be. And yes, times have change – fine, incorporate the best innovations. But PLEASE leave the event – in fact, instead of Pirates Week, let’s call it ‘Pirates World’ – it should be competing with Disney World for crying out loud and should already be sustainable and employing Caymanians and contributing to the GDP!

    Though, what’s still just as bad is that we Caymanians are really letting down our visitors and residents who stood with us hand-in-hand and looked up to us as God fearing decent people, who took pride in these celebrations, so much so that we involved our own families and made significant effort to weave chairs, baskets, built boats, etc just for this event. Now that we celebrate these current distasteful events, they are left wondering what happened to us – their question: Are the people they once loved still around anymore? Please don’t excuse this very important point – Yes, we are friendly people, but friendly people abound throughout the Caribbean, but when you came to Cayman years ago, you literally felt the warmth and giving nature of the people, something that rarely exists in little remaining parts of the world today, but I know it’s still here in us Caymanians.

    So, let’s not endure this situation any longer and, yes the population is bigger now, but as the old Cayman seamen would say, ‘where ever we hang our hats, this is where our home is for the time being.’ We have hanged our hats on Cayman’s soil today, so let’s take the next step and set the record straight – it’s not too late, we are still here – let’s make our forefathers proud now!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Our forefathers? Pirates Week is only 40 years old. And what’s this about weaving chairs and building boards for the event? Not sure you can even weave a chair and the only boats built for Pirates Week are the cardboard ones. All for nostalgia for the good old days of family friendly Pirates Week but try’s g to claim it as an ancient, craft based tradition is just tosh.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    don’t stop the carnival(s)!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I just wana see the native booby birds.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Does Cayman really need this crap? It is built on voodoo and is satanic. Cayman.
    Cayman should not be entertaining this.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Which was the worse idea?

    The recent traffic diversion that got cancelled within 2 hours (upvote)

    Or this (downvote)

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Carnival comes right before Ash Wednesday. Whatever you are doing, it is not carnival.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    I personally don’t like either of them and they should both be disbanded and bring back the true batabano and pirates week!

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    • No more road closures says:

      I am tired of the police closing the roads for foolishness. Do not give them permission to have a procession. Then everyone will have to come back to the table. Next someone would want to close the road to have a birthday celebration.

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      • Anon says:

        Stop closing road for Jamaica Independence day too. Nothing to do with Cayman and can’t walk thru GT without encountering loud mouth people frightening our visitors. Make them go somewhere off the main thoroughfare. No-other Nationality is allowed this privilege.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Push them back to Rock Hole and Windsor Park.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Silly recurring comment…these areas were always locally populated until we caymanians started to define rich and poor areas amongst ourselves. Then the large influx of migrants settling in and around these areas occurred.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Firstly, I do not care what weekend it is on. However, what I find interesting is that CayMas is no longer stating that the whole thing started because they actually wanted to take over Batabano. The whole 2 carnivals started out of bad mind and greed by the face of swanky and CayMas. There are many laws and rules and regulations passed in this country that we all have to follow, who gave CayMas authority to ignore them and if they get to why don’t the drug dealers and thieves

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Braccanal is a private company.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And your point is?

      Just a fact check for you, to import goods, sell goods and apply for artist permits and liquor licenses, to event operate / host an event in the Cayman Islands you need a business license to do so. Thank god they are following all the rules that are in place to have Braccanal!

      Jump off that bandwagon before you too get ran over for looking fool.
      P.S. all Carnivals and bands have to have a Business license!

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      • Anonymous says:

        “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time” Abe Lincoln

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        • Captain Penny says:

          “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool Mom.” Captain Penny, The Captain Penny Show, 1955 – 1971

  13. Anonymous says:

    Simple, just change Braccanal to the Mothers Day weekend and have the two adult carnivals on the long weekend.

    Why allow the Brac to mash up the GCM plans?

    Do what is right for the greater good.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Of Course! The main solution should be to change an event date for the sister island of Cayman Brac because a spoiled bunch of XXXX want to make more money in Grand Cayman!

      Not to mention, lets forget the sister islands on a hold because uneducated followers like you know how the Braccanal Carnival impacts the sister islands economy! How will another carnival on the mothers day weekend solve the issue? I swear the lack of knowledge on your part is amazing!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Ok, so we will have both adult fetes on Mothers Day weekend, and the Braccanal on the long weekend… No, dont want that? Ok, so we can have the 2 GCM fetes and the Braccanal on the long weekend… No, that wont work either? Oh my, what ARE we going to do?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Keep the original dates for all carnival set before Caymas decided they wanted to take over and control Cayman Carnival!

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    • Anonymous says:

      There is nothing good about parading around half-naked and acting like animals.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Bubbies! The more the better…

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  15. Anonymous says:

    The passions are high because the stakes are low. zzzzz….

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  16. Anonymous says:

    I say cancel both of them nothing Caymanian about either. Pure eastern Caribbean garbage. Lets make Pirates week great again.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Mother’s Day is a great idea! Based on lovin’ all that sex appeal fueled by all that alcohol, new mums will be made!

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  18. Jotnar says:

    Interesting point here. Does RCIPS act independently of the government when considering road closures and policing for events like this? If it doesn’t there is a simple answer for CayMas, but a slightly troubling one for civil liberties. What would happen if the anti port protestors wanted a street march, for example.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    I am fine if others enjoy Batabano & CayMAS. I say have fun in a safe environment. My opinion is that I personally dislike both of them and don’t attend.

    I much preferred what Batabano was when it was originally developed back in the 80’s.

    Carnival type events are potentially good for tourism, but I would prefer if they toned down explicitness of things!

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  20. Anon345 says:

    CIG please don’t change anything! Make those spoiled brats go sit down!! I’d like to know how they plan to hold their carnival and block Government roads without Government’s and police’s permission to do so!! Try go sit down unna old bad minded bunch of spoiled brats!

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  21. Anonymous says:

    #legalizecommonsense

    one carnival. long weekend.

    brachannal could be any weekend of the year. it is a tshirt blocko party at best. there are no outside tourism dollars coming in for this event yet it is holding the two major carnival bands to ransom. maybe we should watch the chamber of commerce videos on how cayman economy works again. I am ashamed that the minister wasn’t able to weigh cost- benefit at a national level to solve this dilemna.

    when paloma hit the brac the date for braccanal moved. so it is possible. braccanal just making bacchanal.

    as for mothers day – every body loves their mama more than mas. so to have the carnival on mothers day weekend is a death knell. who is going to leave their mothers to travel to cayman for a carnival when there are carnivals each month at various destinations in the world. again – i am ashamed the minister can’t see this.

    #legalizecommonsense

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    • Sara Ebanks says:

      Its amazing how you say #legalizecommonsense when you other the other hand project none!

      Your one-sided bias amuses me! I’m pretty sure you have never even been to a Braccanal Carnival. Yes the majority of revelers wear t-shirts because Braccanal is known for the ultimate carnival unity experience. Braccanal is not a carnival where you pay hundreds of dollars for a costume but a carnival in which you indulge in the culture, the music and the caymankind that Cayman Brac offers. Braccanal is togetherness!

      Everyone wants Braccanal to change their dates because some greedy businesses want to use that weekend to line their pockets, when the Braccanal Committee makes nothing personally off of their event! Every single dollar goes into the community and tourism for the island of Cayman Brac. You also seem to forget that Cayman Brac is also apart of the Cayman Islands and there are people and small business that live here that depend on the Braccanal event.

      Caymas can make the same amount of profit on a regular weekend than a long weekend. Other carnivals in the world do not have long holidays so why do they need one? Like they stated, they want Cayman Carnival to be International, well international revelers don’t care about a long holiday and locals will always take vacation! The Braccanal Carnival promotes more to a local market and needs the long weekend because no-one is going to travel to the Brac on a regular weekend for carnival.

      It really is a shame that these “spoiled children” aka.Swanky and Caymas members are trying to take away from the biggest event Cayman Brac has.

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      • Anonymous says:

        First off, why do think Cayman does not need a long weekend but Brac does? Your bias is obvious, and what do you mean by togetherness? The things i’ve seen happen on Braccanal weekends make Caymas or Batabano look like a gospel service. To clarify, i am not the original poster nor have i participated in and carnival in the last 5 years.

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        • Sarah Ebanks says:

          Not biased, just facts.

          Caymas states continuously that are marketing “internationally” while Braccanal markets towards local tourism, so with that fact alone, local tourism shows that locals prefer to travel on a long weekend instead of a regular weekend. Hence why a long weekend works better for Braccanal.

          There are numerous well known carnivals around the world that do not fall on a long weekend and they have over 4,000 revelers fly in to participate because international revelers do not care about a long weekend.

          Grand Cayman makes 1000% more on a regular week day than the Brac makes on that one long weekend. Why would you want to take the influx of financial funds away for the community?

          Caymas’s growth is not limited or stopped because of a date, but by the mindset of all organizers. As stated in their interview with Cayman Marl Road, this is their business and they are business men, so they are going to fight to line their pockets.
          Swanky’s representative even said that this is his job as he does not work otherwise. Tell me one thing, if he isn’t making money off of Caymas, how is he able to travel the world to all carnivals as he stated as well?
          While the Braccanal Committee members make NOTHING from hosting Braccanal. Its not a business for them but a means of helping the brac economy.

          Of course you notice more from the Braccanal Carnival than the others but to state that they “look like a gospel service” already shows me that your closed minded. Of course things look prettier with bright color, feathers and women are dressed in costume!
          A little dash of glitter makes everything look better.

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          • The real deal says:

            Locals flock to the Brac for Braccanal in order to run wild, get royally pissed, and dry hump in the streets. I don’t think we should give them any considerations. It’s bloody disgusting.

            Again, nothing to do with our culture.

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            • Anonymous says:

              And what do you per say is done at Batabano and Caymas?

              I’m confused, does caymanian culture change when you’re in a shirt or a costume? Which is caymanian culture?

              Also caymainan culture has changed so many times, but you choose what you want to reinforce as culture.

              Culture defined is “the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group”, well I hate to be the one to burst your bubble but Carnival was never apart of our culture until it was introduced to us by another culture.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Braccanal is a private company with a sole proprietor.

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            • Anonymous says:

              And your point is?

              Just a fact check for you, to import goods, sell goods and apply for artist permits and liquor licenses, to event operate / host an event in the Cayman Islands you need a business license to do so. Thank god they are following all the rules that are in place to have Braccanal!

              Jump off that bandwagon before you too get ran over for looking fool.

              P.S. all Carnivals and bands have to have a Business license!

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          • Anonymous says:

            So wouldn’t the long weekend in June be suitable for one of the carnivals as well (i.e. braccanal being that batabano’s argument was to bring in the turtle nesting season)? There would be a pay day between the two carnivals. Sounds like a win win to me… I love braccanal and i think the committee is missing out on a good idea out of stubbornness. There most definitely is a compromise that could work for all parties but nobody wants to listen to whats being said because of who is saying it. All parties are being difficult in my opinion. Listen to each other please! Nobody will ever get 100% their way but there is a compromise that could allow for win win win in this scenario.

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            • Anonymous says:

              Why is it that everyone expects the Braccanal Committee to change their dates? Originally the dates for Batabano and Braccanal were fine with everyone! Caymas came in and decided they didn’t want to work with Batabano anymore, so why don’t they move their dates to June? That would also be a win win.

              Its not stubbornness, its simple facts and just like how Caymas is fighting for what they believe in so is the Braccanal Committee. Did you know that Discovery Day was the day Christopher Columbus discovered Cayman Brac? This weekend has just as much value to Cayman Brac as Batabano’s argument but once again Cayman Brac is over looked and expected to bend and bow to big brother, NOPE!

              Also, for the long weekend in June it is the schools graduations and Cayman Brac is fully booked for families.

              Braccanal Committee, keep fighting and holding strong. You are also apart of the Cayman Islands and deserve to keep the long weekend!

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              • Anonymous says:

                Thanks for the insight! i can understand why the Brac couldn’t change their dates if there is a graduation that weekend. noted! seems like a difficult situation all around. I personally believe that Batabano/Cayman Carnival whatever they want to call it could be bigger and better but i can also see why (even more so now) Brac are adamant on those dates. 🙂

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        • Anonymous says:

          You haven’t participated in 5 years? You must have finally wised up. Street carnivals are crap!

      • The real deal says:

        You are incredibly wrong about that. The Braccanal Committee doesn’t make any money, but those that supply the booze and music make a ton of money.

        Braccanal is nothing more than a three-day humpfest and it has zero to do with Caymanian culture. Heritage Day has to do with Caymanian culture, not people humping in the street like junkyard dogs.

        Cayman Culture. What a joke. My parents would roll over in their graves to consider that noisy vulgarity to be their heritage.

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        • Anonymous says:

          All businesses in Cayman Brac reap benefit from the Braccanal Carnival. Supermarkets, hotels, air bnb’s, car rentals, Cayman Airways, taxi drivers, restaurants, road clean up crews, bakeries, and the list goes on! So not just only liquor stores and music businesses. So maybe you should of done some research before posting.

          A humpfest? So I guess all carnivals are considered humpfest because the same thing happens at every carnival around the world the only difference is some revelers are in costumes. Which by the way expose so much more of their bodies that Braccanal revelers do. Make sure when the nip slip or abs from a man are shown, you close your eyes. Because it’s not caymanian culture to show all that skin.

          I’m sure you had your time of carrying on the same way like a “junkyard dog” but now you’ve tasted pedigree and decided that this is wrong! Don’t worry the behavior you portray is one thing from Caymanian culture that won’t change, judgmental and bitter.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The t shirt carnival is trash

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      • Anonymous says:

        So is women waking around in clothing that show every part that God created to be held sacred.

        But hey, I prefer t-shirts! Ohh and if t-shirt carnival is trash, why do bands in gcm offer them?

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Ban this despicable thing once and for all. Leave junior carnival, but employ choreographs so they won’t walk like a herd of sheep. No bikinis for kids; shorts and fully covered chest area.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    “Cultural contributions”…like huh? Batabano, like Pirate’s Week was created by Rotary in 1983 as one of their annual fundraisers. Caymas was created a few years ago as a “carnival product” cash grab. How does the CIG think they have any role in either event? Other than the regrettable obsessions with day-drinking, ogling, pageantry, and sexual predation, there is no Caymanian “traditional” element to either.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Other than – lol

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    • Al Catraz says:

      “Other than the regrettable obsessions with day-drinking, ogling, pageantry, and sexual predation…”

      But those traditional Caymanian cultural elements are pretty much the entirety of both events!

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly anonymous at 9:42!! We have real “culture and traditions” to showcase but this crap does not belong in either category. From what I am seeing in the newspaper most of those in the photo shoot don’t really look so good either. Indecency on parade is what it is.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Just deny their permit and move on. One date or no date. It’s just like growing up as a kid….if I didn’t eat what was prepared for dinner then I went hungry. I quickly learned the rules

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  25. Anonymous says:

    cig could not organise a p*ss-up in a brewery…..

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  26. Anonymous says:

    I vote for cayMAS over the 3 day weekend

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