Mas bands to show off Batabano costumes

| 20/01/2017
CNS Local Life

On the road at Batabano 2016

(CNS Local Life): The newly-formed Cayman Islands Masquerade Bands Association (CIMBA), will be showcasing costume designs that participants will wear when they go on the road for Cayman Carnival Batabano in May. The event, a show of support for Batabano and dubbed the “All Ah We” band launch, is set for the National Heroes Day holiday, 23 January at The Strand.

Styled after a block party, the event will feature the mas bands displaying their costumes as well as signing up masqueraders to take part in the parade, scheduled for 6 May.

Each band’s costumes will be showcased on stage in the parking lot during a Soca fashion show featuring local and international DJ’s and hosts.

The Batabano committee and CIMBA are organising the collective launch, which is also more economical for the registered mas bands.

“We’re not in this for ourselves but for the people of Cayman and for those who come to our shores to play mas and experience our culture,” said newly elected CIMBA president Olujimi “Jimmi” La Pierre. He is also a leader of the “FRESH Carnival” mas band, which won Batabano’s band of the year award in 2016.

“We’re excited about the energy that the Batabano Committee has this year, and we’re looking forward to being part of it. The carnival spirit is alive and growing in the Cayman Islands,” he said, adding that the costume launch will be the first of many Batabano events planned for this year, with the support of many local mas bands “who are proud to be part of Cayman’s national carnival, Batabano”.

La Pierre, whose father is the Trinidadian/Caymanian pan legend, Earl La Pierre, said, “Given the opportunity to serve as the first president for CIMBA, I appreciate the respect and confidence my fellow band leaders have in me. Growing up in the carnival culture, from Cayman to Trinidad to Toronto, I’ve enjoyed the energy from the music and masqueraders.

“Like Peter Ram’s tune, ‘All Ah We’ stand united for the love of the music and wanting to see our masqueraders and sponsors enjoy Batabano to the max.”

Cayman Carnival Batabano chairperson Donna Myrie-Stephen, who will be receiving the “Pioneer in Tourism” award on National Heroes Day this year for her accomplishments in developing Batabano as a tourism product, said, “With the committee’s encouragement and support, we are thrilled that these local mas bands united and formed CIMBA, the first of its kind in the 34-year history of Cayman Carnival Batabano.

“We encourage the public to come out and support the Batabano mas bands at the ‘All Ah We’ band launch.”

Doors open at 12:01am for the event, with the $10 tickets only available at the gate. Participating venues are Whiskey Mist, Lillie’s and The Warehouse.

To register as a mas band for Batabano and to participate in ‘All Ah We’, email CIMBA  or Cayman Carnival Batabano 

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Category: Events

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting…CI$10 to see what we can see for free in May…