Crowds brave the elements to savour Bermuda Day Parade
Driving rain failed to dampen Bermuda’s spirit as the island came together for a day of national celebration on Bermuda Day yesterday.
Front Street was packed with revellers who soaked up the carnival atmosphere in weather conditions that were anything but tropical.
Master of ceremonies Patrina O’Connor-Paynter summed up the mood of the crowd and the day.
She said: “I know that there’s a lot of rain on Front Street right now, but if there’s one thing I know about Bermudians, it’s that we don’t stay at home today.
“Thunder, lightning — whatever the weather holds — we’re all proud to be Bermudians, celebrating Bermuda’s culture at it’s best, keeping Bermuda’s traditions alive.
“Rain, blow or shine, it’s Bermuda Day. Don’t let the rain stop you.”
The afternoon saw a flood of floats, majorette troupes, Gombeys and the band of the Royal Bermuda Regiment parading through the streets of the city, bringing a spectacle of colour that contrasted with the drab grey of cloud-filled skies.
Dignitaries attending the event included David Burt, government ministers Wayne Furbert and Owen Darrell, and the President of the Senate, Joan Dillas-Wright.
The Premier described the day as “one of our most unifying holidays that brings family and friends together and allows us to showcase our pride in being Bermudian”.
He added: “Since 1979, residents have taken to the streets of Hamilton on this special day to enjoy the Royal Bermuda Regiment, the stunning floats, dance groups, community bands and the Gombey troupes.
“And while many traditions have evolved over the last four decades, the spirit and traditions of Bermuda Day and the parade have endured.
“The Bermuda Day holiday is about honouring our shared culture. And as Bermudians, we continue to show that we are resourceful, expressive and community-minded.
“Individuals and businesses had pooled resources to ensure that those who want to participate in the parade can do so through the Bermuda Day Fund and the innovative partnership between the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport and the Bermuda Foundation.
“Once again, we have shown that anything is possible when we support one another.“
Mr Darrell, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, said the day was a celebration of all that was good about the island.
“This parade — this day — is an experience not to be missed,” he said.
Marcus Astwood, 38, from Pembroke, agreed.
Enjoying the afternoon with his daughter, Mr Astwood said: “Today is a day when everyone comes together and celebrates what it is to be Bermudian, our culture, our heritage. It’s just a special day.”
Sandy Tousceinie, an IT specialist with the Bermuda Hospitals Board, was experiencing her first Bermuda Day holiday.
Ms Tousceinie, from Cleveland, Ohio, said: “Today has been amazing. This is my first Bermuda Day. I’m new to the island, I moved here two months ago and I’ve met some lovely people who have invited me to share Bermuda Day with them.
“I was up cooking last night until 1.30am with my friend and here I am celebrating Bermuda Day.
“I’m having a great time. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s so unique and different. Even though it’s been pouring with rain for hours it’s still a party and everybody’s having a great time.”
The parade also proved popular with visitors who were not put out by the rain.
Jim Qwinn, from the United States, who is on a nine-day holiday with his wife, Deborah, said: “We have parades likes this back home, but this is something special.
“We’re enjoying the culture. The rain doesn’t matter.”
Mateo Grose, from Washington, who is holidaying in Bermuda with his wife, Kristen, said: “We just got here yesterday and it’s great to see how proud Bermudians are of their culture.”
The parade wrapped up shortly after 5pm, but city roads remained closed to traffic to allow street parties to continue into the evening.
For many more pictures, click here.
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