Pirate Festival: how to celebrate buccaneers in the Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman Island. Snorkelling. Underwater. Swimming. Reef. A Nice View On A Cruise by Jacrews7. Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY 2.0)


Location: George Town Harbour, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Dates: Ten days in mid-November

Level of participation: 3 – don an eyepatch and a hook

The only festival to take place on all three of the Cayman isles, the Pirate Festival is geared towards infant swashbucklers. The ten-day programme of music, dances, costumes, games and controlled mayhem begins with a mock invasion. Two replica 17th-century galleons, accompanied by other boats and even the odd submarine, all swarming with rogues, carry out a ‘surprise’ attack on George Town Harbour. The ensuing action differs from year to year, but the general idea is that the mangy seadogs battle the defending force, capture the governor and throw him in the clink. Pillaging of the world’s fifth-largest commercial centre is kept to a minimum.

One of the more entertaining events is the Cardboard Boat Regatta, with gongs for the shortest race, best costume and most spectacular sinking. Shortly afterwards, the Trial of the Pirates, fireworks display and street party bring an end to the cutlass-waving.

Essentials: Practise exclamations such as ‘Avast’ and ‘Shiver me timbers’.

Local attractions: Search for treasure at Grand Cayman’s 160 dive sites.

More infowww.piratesweekfestival.com

See a list of other festivals in November here.