It’s less than two months away from one of our favorite yearly Grand Cayman events! The 39th annual Pirates Week festival kicks off on November 10th, for an eleven day long whirlwind of just about every kind of family-friendly fun you can think of. This festival is a huge spectacle, encompassing music, food, parades, competitions, dancing, fireworks and even a mock pirate invasion
Pirates Week was conceived of by the Hon. James Bodden, the Executive Council Member for Tourism, in 1977 as a way to entice tourists to visit the islands during the off season. Now, with the festival in its 39th year, bringing thousands of residents and tourists alike together and still growing, it’s clear that his idea has paid off for the Cayman Islands in a big way.
Pirates Week has grown tremendously since 1977. Today, the festival draws in over 35,000 party-loving pirate enthusiasts over the course of its 11 day long, jam-packed schedule of events. The fun will get underway this year on Friday evening, November 10th with a steel pan competition, dancing, food and a dazzling fireworks display. The following day brings one of the festival’s most beloved traditions, a staged pirate invasion of the George Town harbour, where two ships full of raucous pirates will come ashore and “capture” the Governor in front of the gathered crowd. The rest of the week will include a pageant, parade, food festival, street dancing, a children’s fair, a cardboard boat race and the popular underwater treasure hunt. The festival will come to a close with a mock sentencing of the pirates, restoring to the locals their claim of the islands and finishing with one last night of celebration, with food and dancing in the street and a night parade.
One of the things that makes Pirates Week special is that the festival is about much more than just a giant party – as it was initially intended, Pirates Week is also dedicated to preserving and celebrating Caymanian culture. This is the focus of a series of District Heritage Days. These district specific events will showcase what life on the islands was like a hundred years ago, complete with traditionally prepared food, crafts to make or buy and local music.
While the majority of pirate related festivities will take place in Grand Cayman, there are plenty of events to enjoy at both the Little Cayman and Cayman Brac islands as well. If you plan to join us at South Bay Beach Club in Grand Cayman for this year’s Pirates Week festival, make your reservations today. Pirates Week is a one of a kind Caribbean experience and lodging fills up quickly. We hope to see here you November!