Cayman Carnival Batabano
Thousands of revelers from all walks of life march, dance and otherwise promenade down Seven Mile Beach to the George Town waterfront in a wonderful menagerie of energy, song and whirling colors. The 34th Batabano carnival will be a true celebration of life, energy and joy, providing an outlet of entertainment for Cayman Islands residents and putting on an unforgettable show for visiting tourists.
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 original name, Batabano, is a salute to Cayman’s turtling heritage - 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!
Carnival itself is joyous, cultural celebration throughout the Caribbean – a kaleidoscope of music, dance and pageantry, rooted in the region’s diverse historical influences. Colourful costumes reflect the vibrant landscapes, heritage and culture, with the music the very rhythm of island life. Carnival in the Cayman Islands has a distinct flavour as the islands are home to a melting pot of over 100 nationalities – one country celebrating many cultures!
The energy of Cayman Carnival Batabano is electrifying, with thousands of locals and visitors flocking to the streets to enjoy the signature, spirited parade, a creative panoply of costumes, choreography and floats that becomes more elaborate each year.
It is a time to celebrate local surroundings, to showcase creativity, to voice social issues and, of course, to party and unite – and there’s nothing like a great party to bring people together!
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.
This is a fantastic afternoon of Caribbean culture not to be missed!
Junior Batabano & Family Fun Day - 29th April 2017
While the Batabano adult costume parade may have be a bit of an “eye-opener” for the innocent and prudish, even the youngest and most buttoned-up residents will be able to enjoy the Junior Batabano and Family Fun Day.
Starting at 1 p.m., the children will launch their own parade, complete with music and vibrant (and age-appropriate) costumes, from the former site of the old Tower Building in George Town. After the parade, downtown will come alive for family friendly activities, including face painting, mask decorating, snow cones and general, wholesome fun.
Cayman Carnival Junior Batabano is a family-friendly festival for the islands’ youth. Introduced in 2002, this colorful cultural showcase marks its 14th anniversary this year! Junior Carnival has grown from a small program that preceded the adult parade to its very own one-day event.
Held in the capital, George Town, Junior Batabano features children frolicking in a lively cavalcade of color, music and creativity before parading for the pageant judges, who have the unenviable task of selecting the best Junior band. Afterwards, the fun continues with face painting, mask decorating and food stalls presented by school PTAs.
The goal of Junior Carnival Batabano is to promote Cayman's unique culture and to create a safe, fun-filled, family oriented experience.