Walkabout kicks off the holiday season in St George
The Olde Towne was bustling with activity last night as the annual National Trust Walkabout drew thousands to the East End.
Businesses and historical homes throughout the Town of St George welcomed visitors while a variety of entertainers took to the stage in King’s Square.
Rena Lalgie, the Governor, told the crowds that the event was uniquely Bermudian.
“Only in Bermuda could you have something where people are genuinely opening up their houses to absolute strangers to wander through late in the evening,” she said.
“It’s a really great opportunity also for us to pause and reflect on just the amount of history that not just exists in Bermuda, but has also been preserved.”
Nicky Gurret, who welcomed guests to the BNT’s Tucker House Museum, noted that while Christmas lights lined the town’s streets for the event, the museum was lit by candlelight as it was hundreds of years ago.
“We have had a super, fantastic turnout,” she said. “Even more than last year, but there is always so many people. Tonight is fantastic.
“This is one of the biggest events of the year for us. We showcase all the trust buildings in St George’s, and even the homes that we rent out are open to people.”
Charlotte Andrews, the BNT’s head of cultural heritage, added: “Tonight is all about people showcasing our World Heritage Site and people seeing the real places.
“Here we have an incredible building, Tucker House, on display, but also the collections here are authentic to the site and there are archaeological finds from the site as well.
“All of that expands the story that is here, the story of the mariners who were working out of the site, the enslaved families who were at this site. It is a story we are constantly trying to broaden and broaden how we tell it because it is the story of the whole community.”
King’s Square proved to be the heart of the event, with patrons lined up to buy treats from vendors or sitting in front of the stage to watch performances.
Cayden Lee, 11, said it would be his second time on the main stage at the annual event.
“It’s a really great way to show off the dance company, the Vision School of Dance, and it’s a great way to show off my dance moves,” he said.
“I think all the Christmas decorations are amazing. It’s pretty cool. It wasn’t as big last year, but this year it is really good.”
While many soaked in the town’s rich history, others used the opportunity to meet friends and do some Christmas shopping.
Vanessa Abate, of Rosemary Sprig Charcuterie, offered attendees a taste of charcuterie boards comprised of cheese, crackers, deli meats and dry fruits.
“We are honoured to be here with Gosling’s,” she said. “The atmosphere is amazing, the people are excited, they have got their holiday cheer on and everyone is in great spirits.”
Another popular destination was the Bermuda Perfumery, where visitors were greeted with falling snow, courtesy of a snow machine perched in the building’s second-floor window.
Isabella Brackstone, of Lili Bermuda, said: “The walkabout is very important. I think it’s one of the greatest cultural events in St George’s.
“We open our homes for visitors, for locals, and it is just a fabulous time of year. It kicks off the holiday season, for sure.
“It’s a really nice time to showcase what we do.”
Wahoo’s restaurant was packed to the gills as customers relaxed and enjoyed the festive atmosphere on Water Street.
Alfred Konrad, co-owner of the popular spot, said: “It’s a night of entertainment with lots of happy people around St George’s.
“It’s good. A little bit overwhelming as there are a lot of people here, but it’s nice for people to come down and see what we have to offer in St George’s.”