A Guide to the Cayman Islands Braccanal Carnival

Braccanal Carnival is one of the incredible carnival celebrations that occur in the Cayman Islands! It is a fun, vibrant and colorful celebration that embraces local culture and heritage. Here is everything you need to know about carnival in the Cayman Islands.

!!!Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19, Braccanal has been postponed to a later on!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Monday, May 18, 2020

Days to start

What is Braccanal?

braccanal carnival

Every year in May, a marvelous carnival is held on the island of Cayman Brac called Braccanal. It is a fun and vibrant carnival that attracts thousands to come out and celebrate. The aim of Braccanal is to foster and encourage community spirit on the island of Cayman Brac.

It is a celebration filled with Caribbean music, dance, rum, family, friends, feasting on local cuisine, parties and cultural events. The entire island comes together to celebrate! Spirits are high and the music never stops pumping!

Braccanal sees a fun and colourful parade as well as lots of parties. The parade is organised and run by a group of passionate volunteers who make up the Braccanal Committee. The committee states that “It’s not just about Carnival for us,” that it is about “motivating the youth to keep pushing towards their dreams”, because “dreams can come true”!

Where is Braccanal?

The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory. The Cayman Islands consist of 3 islands that sit in the western Caribbean Sea. Grand Cayman, the largest island, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman, the smallest island.

The island Cayman Brac is sort of a secret island that not too many people know about. It is the most eastern island of the three Cayman islands in the Caribbean Sea. The island is about 145 kilometers northeast of Grand Cayman. 

When is Braccanal 2020? 

Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19, Braccanal has been postponed to a later on!!!

Cayman Brac’s homegrown carnival is always held over the long Discovery Day weekend. The 2020 Braccanal Carnival will run from Thursday, May 14, 2020 – Monday, May 18, 2020.

What is the history of Braccanal?

braccanal carnival

The Rotary Club of Cayman Brac were the founders of the Braccanal Carnival. It was first created to be a fundraiser for the club. The first carnival was only for the local schools of Cayman Brac. There were no adult bands that participated in the parade.

All the schools on the island partook in the celebrations and the streets were filled with hand-made costumes with each school having picked out their own theme for the parade. After a few years another organiser took over from the Rotary Club in organising the carnival.

How do they celebrate Braccanal?

braccanal carnival

If you are on Cayman Brac during carnival you will see all the city streets are filled with celebrations. Soca music is inescapable! It doesn’t matter where you go the catchy soca tunes are pumping loudly. The air is filled with delicious smells coming from the local food street vendors and everyone on the island is in a festive and joyful mood!

The night time Braccanal celebrations are just is for the adults. You will find the local bar’s around town hosting some epic fetes like the Foam Fete or Wet Fete for example. Many DJs and music artists are brought over from Miami or Grand Cayman to perform at fetes as well as to participate in the parade.

The ‘wet fete’ is one of the most popular fetes that essentially kicks off the partying. You will see hundreds of people, dance and party the night away. This fete gets its name because there are hourly water-truck deliveries to keep it wet.

The peak of Braccanal is the traditional road parade which features hundreds of people dancing along, in bright colors to the soca tunes. There are several floats, as well as DJ’s whose job, is to keep the party mood high. There are often local artists who will perform in the parade too.

The parade finishes in an area where there are loads of delicious food vendors serving mouthwatering local cuisine. After the parade is an after party where the adults keep on dancing and drinking the night away.

On Sunday, the Braccanal Committee throws a breakfast fete for those people who have spent the whole night partying! Then there is the annual Cooler Fete which is the final fete for the Braccanal Carnival.

Braccanal Events Calendar 2020

braccanal carnival

Braccanal Road Parade

braccanal carnival

The biggest and most fun event of Braccanal Carnival is the Braccanal Road Parade! Thousands of people come out to take part in and to watch the parade. All along the parade route are crowds of spectators all celebrating from the sideline.

What is unique about the Braccanal Road Parade is that it is actually a parade for both adults and children. However adults and children jump in different sections because the adult section has alcohol consumption. Alcohol is concealed in a special water bottle that comes with a purchase of a t-shirt.

It is important to note that the Braccanal Committee is the only exclusive t-shirt band in the Braccanal Parade

Where do I purchase tickets for Braccanal?

braccanal carnival

First please note that to participate in the adult section of the parade that you must be 18 or over. The Braccanal Committee is the only exclusive t-shirt band so you can select your designated t-shirt size to register for the parade. In addition to your t-shirt you will be given a water bottle, goodie bag and music from top Caymen Island Soca DJ’s.

The ticket is all inclusive and you will also receive premium unlimited liquor for the Braccanal Parade as well as complimentary drinks for the Sunday “cool down fete”. To register for the parade and take part in the Braccanalist – Adult Section will cost you $50.00 CI. You can purchase your tickets at eventpro.ky

The committee also offers a free shuttle service to the Road Parade which will leave at 2:00PM.

For any questions about t-shirt sizes or designs please contact the Braccanal Committee at cybbraccanalcommittee@gmail.com 

For all the other carnival events and fetes you can purchase tickets from eventpro.ky

Tips and Tricks for Braccanal 2020

  • Sun protection: A total must! You are in the Caribbean and the parade runs for a few hours and it will be sunny. So wear loads of suntan cream because a bad sunburn can ruin your carnival Also don’t forget to wear some sunglasses and a hat!
  • Drink Water:It doesn’t matter if you are standing or dancing. The hot sun can heighten your risk of dehydration. So drink a lot of water!  
  • Comfortable shoes: If you are in the parade you will be dancing on your feet for hours, and even if your spectating wear comfortable shoes!
  • Be mindful of your valuables: Anything of value like your passport can be left back in your hotel. And get a little bag or pouch if you’re in the parade to carry some cash and your cell phone. Check out some on Amazon here. 
  • Bring your camera: You will probably want to take a lot of selfies! Plus the atmosphere is electric so you will want to remember this day!
  • Eat some food! You want to have lots of energy to dance the day away so have a good breakfast.
  • Arrive early: If you are just going to just watch the parade then arrive early to find a good spot and bring a cooler with some drinks and some beach chairs with you and make a fun day of it!

Where to stay in Cayman Brac?

braccanal carnival

Cayman Brac has accommodations all over the island that will suit any travellers need. The Southwest coast of the island is where you will find most of the tourists hotels and resorts. Along the north and south of the island are villa complexes, private rental properties and houses. It really just depends on your budget and the level of comfort you are seeking. 

Have a look at some accomodation deals here.

How to get to Cayman Brac?

There are only two ways to get here and that is to fly or by boat. There is only one way to fly to Cayman Brac and that is via Cayman Airways. The larger airport on Grand Cayman called Owen Roberts International Airport is the Cayman’s main airport to with flights from North America, UK, Honduras, Cuba and Jamaica. The other way to arrive at Cayman Brac is via private boat. To get a quote for a flight click here.

How to get around Cayman Brac?

To get around in Cayman Brac you can either rent a car, rent a bike, walk or take a taxi around the island. Your best option is to hire a rental car. Remember though they drive on the left hand side of the road. Get a quote for a rental car here. To rent a bike or a scooter get a quote here.

What to do and see in Cayman Brac?

braccanal carnival

The landscape of Cayman Brac is the most dramatic and spectacular of all three islands. This is because of its bluff, which is  a massive limestone outcrop that rises steadily along the island. In fact that is where it got its name from bluff means brac in Gaelic. The bluff holds the Atlantic at bay and has many caves and sinkholes that are rumoured to hold the gold of pirates.

Cayman Brac attracts divers from all over the world who come to marvel at the underwater topography and wrecks. With only 2100 residents the island is quite different to the larger Grand Cayman and has a more small town feel. The locals, who are known as Brackers are famous for their friendly attitude towards visitors so it can be easy to strike up a conversation.

Columbus was the first to discover the island by accident in 1503, and for the next three centuries many explorers and privateers made infrequent stops on the island as it served as a navigational landmark. Today it is an eco-centric destination because the island hosts several ecosystems from arid desert with cacti, to ancient dry woodlands filled with exotic flowers and trees.

There are several caves that can be explored and over 200 different species of birds that are native to the island. The island is also heralded as one of the most exotic rock-climbing destinations in all the world, due to its sheer vertical cliffs.

The island has charming seafaring architecture and dozens of tiny churches dotted over the island. There is no stoplight and the only traffic jam you will experience is two locals stopping in the middle of the road to chat. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all and experience a tranquil existence that is abundant in natural beauty.

For more information about tours, things to do, sightseeing tours, day trips and more click here.

Before you go!

We can’t stress enough the importance of travel insurance! Never travel without coverage! Being protected on your travels gives you an irreplaceable peace of mind. Don’t learn the hard way about the importance of travel insurance. Get a quote through our recommended insurance provider, World Nomads!

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