Camana Bay is the talk of the town. In itself, that’s nothing new. When it was barely off the drawing board, Camana Bay began making waves for its bold combination of style and substance, form and function. Then, when this mixed-use master-planned community began to take shape, it attracted attention, not only in Cayman but also throughout the Caribbean, for its world-class landscaping and avant-garde architecture, its contemporary style and progressive town planning. But now that it’s blossoming into a full-blown community where people are living, working and playing, Camana Bay is causing a stir for different reasons.
As well as attracting admiration for its physical attributes, Camana Bay is now also popular for the recreation opportunities it offers. As new construction projects are completed, so new boutiques, cafes and restaurants are opening, adding immeasurably to the spice of life on the island. A six-screen cinema showing up-to-the-minute releases is also a welcome addition. However, what’s making Camana Bay a particular talking point, among people of all ages and from all walks of life, residents and visitors alike, is the programme of special events on offer, throughout the year, in different locations throughout the development.
When first conceived, Camana Bay was envisaged as a place that would help to nurture the sense of community which Cayman has always enjoyed. Parks and public spaces were incorporated specifically to facilitate neighbourly gatherings. The special events calendar, a key aspect of this programme which uses many of the development’s pubic spaces, is now in full swing and helping to position Camana Bay at the heart of life on the island.
The Paseo, the town’s pedestrian-only main street, is the location for a regular music programme. Called Live on the Paseo, it takes place in the Town Centre and features a different band every Friday. Keep an eye open, too, for outdoor concerts here by the Cayman Nationa, Choir and Orchestra, who are supported by Camana Bay and other sponsors.
At Books & Books, the store from renowned independent bookseller Mitchell Kaplan, reader events have been hugely successful. Appearances by Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell and actor Alan Alda were keenly anticipated; Cayman resident, former jockey and best-selling author Dick Francis and Julia Glass were also crowd-pleasers. Upcoming events feature other celebrity authors and entrance is free.
Books & Books is also the venue for a children’s literacy festival which takes place during Thanksgiving weekend. Readings by local and international children’s authors, plus crafts and activities, are sure-fire hits. Seasonal community events such as Easter egg hunts and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in early December are also popular.
Another highlight, whether or not you’re a gourmet, is the food and wine festival known as Taste of Cayman. Now in its 21st year, this festival has truly come of age. Featuring fireworks, story-telling, arts and crafts as well as a huge array of the favourite foods of the Caribbean and Cayman, the festival is held in early November and appeals to all ages. Camana Bay is its new home.
Outdoor concerts will be a further draw to Camana Bay, when the plaza to be known as The Crescent, offering seating for 2000 people, is completed in 2009.
The access to Camana Bay, in its early phases, was not immediately obvious to many visitors to Grand Cayman. But the opening in August last year of a new road (called Camana Way) connecting the Seven Mile Beach area to Camana Bay’s Town Centre now means that all the delights of this new development are within easy reach of all – particularly as Camana Way includes dedicated pedestrian and cycle paths.
Details of special events and what’s open at Camana Bay are listed on camanabay.com.