Pirate 'invasion' is fall festival's main hook

GEORGE TOWN -- Ships sail, cannons boom and pirates attack. It must be that annual festival again. The Cayman Islands' 23rd annual Pirates Week Festival is set for Oct. 22 to 31.

On tap are parades, street dances, all-day heritage celebrations, triathlons, swimming events, a turtle release, craft displays, go-cart races, golf tournaments, children's activities, an underwater treasure hunt, fireworks and food festivals.

A 20-minute fireworks display over George Town harbor kicks off the festivities on Oct. 22, followed by a competition among local singers and several dance troupes.

Reminiscent of the history of the Cayman Islands as a paradise for pirates and plunderers, a pirate invasion from the sea on Oct. 23 is the festival's highlight. Crowds congregate in George Town as hordes of wenches and pirates invade town with roaring cannons and clashing cutlasses. Visitors who wish to participate can obtain appropriate costumes from several shops in George Town.

After the "intruders" seize the governor and take over the territory, floats and costumed revelers parade through George Town. Five bands provide music until midnight. Ten street dances take place during the festival in various districts on Grand Cayman.

The annual Cayman Turtle Farm's turtle release attracts many children who gather to watch the turtles return to the sea.

Cayman Islands
Phone: (800) 346-3313
Web: www.caymanislands.ky

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