Heroes Weekend hits high notes
Bermuda came alive in a splash of colour and music as revellers partied throughout National Heroes Weekend.
Thousands of people, including many from overseas, enjoyed the fun at a string of events over the long weekend.
One man at the Parade of Bands yesterday, En’Rikae Parsons, believed the carnival is becoming competitive with other major festivals around the world.
Mr Parsons noted the event was promoted via international soca brand Team Soca.
He said: “Bermuda is getting there. It keeps growing each year, and next year I think we will be there.
“I listen to Team Soca and they have been talking about Bermuda and hyping up Bermuda so I think next year will be big. The foreigners are also enjoying the carnival. I love it for the costumes and the partying.”
On Friday, tourism minister Jamahl Simmons told MPs that the Government had invested $125,000 in the weekend after seeing the numbers of visitors climb from 172 in 2015 to 686 last year.
St David’s was a cacophony of colour yesterday, with soca beats pumping out from the main roundabout into Southside all the way to Clearwater Beach, where the festivities began.
Band members, whether part of Code Red, Nirvana or Nova Mas, were dressed in brightly coloured feathers and dazzling jewels.
One member, Shayleen Morales, travelled from Philadelphia to participate for the second time.
Ms Morales said: “I love the carnival for the colours, the fun and the dancing. I heard about it through my friends. Bermuda is beautiful. There’s no other country like it. The people are so warm and welcoming and the place is so clean.”
Her friend Shannon Simons added: “This is my first one in Bermuda. I just love to have fun and dress up and I love my mohawk.”
Alliyah Minks and her father Rene Minks were putting the final finishes to their costumes when they spoke with The Royal Gazette.
Ms Minks is a diehard carnival fan having participated in the event every year since its inception.
She said: “I come every year. He [Rene] went to Carnival in Trinny [Trinidad] before but I’ve only been in Bermuda. I come because I like soca!”
Locals and visitors lined the parade route, taking cover from the sunshine under tents.
The weekend got under way with a 5 Star Friday concert at the City Hall car park in Hamilton on Friday night.
That was followed by the Bermuda Heroes Weekend Raft Up at Shelly Bay on Saturday afternoon, when island and international DJs provided the music for revellers on the water.
Tashi Smith told the Gazette: “I was a bit worried with all the rain last night but the sun is coming out, it’s getting brighter.
“I love the whole Heroes Weekend atmosphere. It’s great seeing everyone come out and celebrate.”
Joseph Andrews said: “The music is great, folks are starting to dance. This is what Bermuda is about.”
Yesterday morning saw huge crowds pack out Bernard Park for the Cirque Du Soca J’Ouvert, which began as early as 3am.
The weekend wrapped up with steel pan drum performers delighting crowds at the Pan in the Park in Victoria Park yesterday afternoon.
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