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Final touches made for electrifying Bermuda Day

Owen Darrell, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, provided an update on Bermuda Day preparations during a press conference yesterday at Dutton Avenue in Pembroke (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Preparations for this year’s Bermuda Day procession are being fine-tuned as a record number of participants are expected to take part in the traditional celebration.

Owen Darrell, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, said yesterday that he saw “energy and enthusiasm” first-hand as the community prepared for its Heritage Day parade.

Mr Darrell said: “It is an electrifying time of year, as people are busy putting the final touches on their creative and colourful floats, dance routines and Gombey rehearsals in this final week before the parade.”

He said it was “encouraging to see our traditions have been reinvigorated”.

The parade will set off at 1.30pm on Friday from Front Street, turning left on to Court Street, left on to Church Street and then right on Cedar Avenue.

It will then head along Dutton Avenue, culminating near Marsh Folly.

A record number of participants will be in the parade.

Mr Darrell said: “There are 66 parade entrants in total, the most we have had in ten years.

“So it seems that the support given for the parade is achieving our wish of making it possible for community groups and participants to participate.”

He said several majorette troupes will make “a spectacular return”.

They include the Hamilton Parish Hot Peppers, Dynamic City Rockettes and the Ex-Artillery majorettes.

He said the PHC Majorettes and Drum Corps will also make a return, noting that their “participation has remained steadfast in the majorette tradition”.

Mr Darrell acknowledged the input of grand marshals, saying they had become “beacons of inspiration in our community”.

He added: “These are some of the Bermudians who chose to devote their energy to being trailblazers and role models in our community. We are grateful to their contributions and for inspiring the generations to come.”

He said the island’s youth were “well represented” this year as several schools will participate.

The Association of Filipinos in Bermuda is joining the parade after a 15-year hiatus.

In March, the association issued a call through its Facebook account for male and female professional or non-professional “versatile” dancers with contemporary and street dance skills to take part.

Mr Darrell said residents will be able to witness eight Gombey troupes in action.

Three groups — the SMS Village Gombey Troup, the Phoenix Gombeys and the Vibe Tribe Gombeys — will make their debuts.

Mr Darrell said it was “thanks to the generous donations of the community that bands, groups and floats can take part in the parade through the Bermuda Day fund”.

He encouraged people to “give back to participants through the fund”. People can donate to the fund here.

A full parade line-up will be published in The Royal Gazette on Thursday. It will also be available for download from the Department of Culture website at culture.bm.

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Published May 21, 2024 at 7:58 am (Updated May 21, 2024 at 7:58 am)

Final touches made for electrifying Bermuda Day

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