Social soirées regularly feature on the island’s annual calendar. Although ‘island casual’ is the de rigueur dress code for many, it is time for glitz and glamour when it comes to gala season.
With a focus on philanthropy, these swanky affairs usually include a Champagne reception, dinner and dancing, and a silent and live auction with exciting items like exotic vacations, unique experiences, and rare wines up for bids.
The Breast Cancer Gala kicks things off in grand style every October. Held in the ballroom of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, it is a black-tie night that pulls out all the stops, complete with celebrity guest speakers. Often the party continues at the lobby bar and lounge, with music playing until close.
A whirlwind of busy weekends immediately follows before breaking for the Christmas season.
The National Gallery fundraiser is another hotly anticipated occasion, always held in November. Themes over the years have run the gamut from ‘Extreme Fashion’ to ‘The Night Circus’, ‘Surrealist Ball’ and ‘Night at the Museum’. The imaginative decor and performances make for an unforgettable evening of entertainment, particularly when the guests are as keen to dress in costume as the performers! A DJ or live band has revellers on the dance floor into the wee hours.
Not all galas are formal dress affairs. The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation’s annual event in March, hosted by the world-famous marine artist and conservationist himself, is one such example where casual – even boating ensembles – are welcome. It also doesn’t get more relaxed than the Kiwanis Breakfast for Dinner bash, when it is perfectly acceptable to rock up in your favourite pyjamas. There are still glasses of bubbles and a three-course meal, and you can cut a rug in fuzzy slippers after the fashion show.
Not a night owl? Not a problem. Every spring, the National Trust holds its Hatitude fundraiser as a brunch at one of Cayman’s popular venues. Ladies and gentlemen in their best chapeaux gather to chat over a delightful repast on a balmy, sunny afternoon. There are also tea parties aplenty if you favour the daytime hours.
Beyond giving islanders a chance to catch up, be entertained, and enjoy sumptuous food and drink, gala season is a vitally important resource for charities needing to supplement their coffers. From animal non-profits that feed, foster, and provide care for furry friends, to organisations that assist with medical costs for those in need, these galas always highlight the kindness and generosity of the people in Cayman’s community.