Festivals and events 2016
From performing arts festivals to culinary celebrations to international sporting events, there is always something on tap in Cayman’s colorful events calendar. Here is a list of the main festivals and events that are annual fixtures on-island.
January 14 to 17
World-famous chefs, wine experts and spirits blenders offer tastings, demonstrations, tours and dinners.
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Taste of Cayman
Taste of Cayman is the island's largest culinary event and one of the largest food festivals in the Caribbean. The one-day event features live cooking demonstrations, food and wine tasting booths and local entertainment.
February 5 to 6
Watch such tennis legends as Jim Courier, Andy Roddick and Anna Kournikova battle it out on the courts.
Falling on Ash Wednesday each year, this is one of Cayman’s largest community events. Held at The Grounds in Lower Valley, it highlights local livestock and produce, and includes competitions, displays and a showcase of Caymanian culture, food and entertainment.
February 25 to 27
The Cayman Islands National Festival of the Arts – known as CAYFEST – is a showcase of the best of local talent featuring a mix of visual arts, music, theater, film and cultural discussions. Among the highlights is the Cayman Islands Folk Singers in Concert, Feb. 26; and Red Sky at Night, Feb. 27, an evening of arts and culture featuring live performances from dancers, storytellers, musicians and actors along with films, arts and crafts.
F.J. Harquail Cultural Centre
Cayman Arts Festival
February 17 to 26
As Cayman’s biggest performing arts festival, this event attracts world-class artists for a week of eclectic events. The London Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Ensemble, violin virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn, jazz piano prodigy Joey Alexander and percussionist Mokhtar Samba are on the bill.
Held annually on Easter Monday, this family festival includes a kite flying competition, music and kite-making workshops.
Date: March 31 to April 17
This annual comedy revue sends up current events, issues, people and politicians in Cayman.
F.J. Harquail Cultural Centre
Cayman Islands International Fishing Tournament
April 21 to 24
Anglers from around the world compete for cash and bragging rights.
Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands
NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tournament
April 29 to May 1
Elite international beach volleyball players compete.
Seven Mile Public Beach
Cayman Carnival Batabano
A colorful and vibrant pageant, Batabano features music, dance and spectacular costumes in true Caribbean fashion. Participants and districts join together to compete and showcase creative costumes, choreography and floats, attracting thousands of spectators to watch the parade wind its way along the streets. Junior Batabano, for youngsters, is usually held a week prior to the main event.
Flowers Sea Swim
This one-mile sea swim along Seven Mile Beach has been named one of the world’s Top 13 open water swims.
Seven Mile Beach
Cayman International Film Festival - CayFilm
June 16 to 19
The international film festival features a roster of Hollywood heavy hitters, daily film screenings, workshops, panel discussions and a celebrity gala event.
Restaurant Month and Cocktail Week
October 1 to 31
Organized by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, this month-long event celebrating the island’s diverse culinary offerings. Participating restaurants feature fixed price lunch and dinner menus. The last seven days incorporates Cocktail Week, with tastings and demonstrations.
November 10 to 20
This national celebration takes over the whole island with a colorful parade, heritage days, music, street dances, local food, fireworks and other swashbuckling fun.
November 26 to December 3
The Cayman Islands International Storytelling Festival brings storytellers from the local and international stage to entertain all ages in outdoor venues around the islands. Admission is free.
Cayman Islands Marathon
Full and half marathons, four-person relays and a kid’s fun run.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Ring in the New Year with spectacular fireworks displays.
For a comprehensive listing of island happenings, check out the Cayman Compass online calendar – compasscayman.com/calendar.