If you ever make it down to Grand Cayman during early May, you might want to check out the Batabano Festival. In 1983 the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman launched a festival, which is a salute to Cayman's turtling heritage. The word batabano actually refers to the tracks in the sand by sea turtles as they crawl onto the beach to nest. The legend says that finding these tracks is a reason to celebrate.
This carnival is a celebration unlike any other seen on the island. It includes a wide range of music, dance and pageantry, all while showing off colorful and extravagant costumes.
While on the island last week, I took in the parade on May 7th. I was blown away by what I saw. People lined the streets for miles from Camana Bay all the way through downtown Georgetown. The parade included hundreds of wild masqueraders dancing for the crowd along West Bay Road. The music was loud! The costumes were scandalous! The actions were not suitable for children. This was a parade unlike any I had ever seen before.
The parade started promptly at 3:00 PM (ok ok....who are we kidding? This is Cayman time-it was more like 3:09) and included stilt walkers, extravagant costumes, and people of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds to flaunt their bodies and throw away their worries for an hour.
CLICK HERE FOR: Batabano Parade Video #1
CLICK HERE FOR: Batabano Parade Video #2
If you happen to be on the island during this festival, I recommend checking out the parade, but you better hide the children. If they want to take part, there is a children's parade one week later to conclude Batabano that would be more suitable for their eyes.