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Sunshine and culture bring energy for parade crowds

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Bermuda Day Parade (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Front Street was flooded in sunshine yesterday as the island came out to celebrate the island’s culture with unity and togetherness.

Sidewalks were packed with spectators who enjoyed the carnival atmosphere of the Bermuda Day Parade.

The date is oftenconsidered as the first day of summer and the weather did not disappoint.

Cloudless skies had many people sitting in the shade of alcoves while wide-brimmed hats and loose-fitting clothes were in abundance.

Owen Darrell, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, said earlier that the theme of this year’s event, Culture = Energy, “epitomised the pulsating essence of Bermuda”.

Bermuda Day Parade (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

That vibe was picked up by parade participants and spectators alike, with crowds cheering on the procession of floats and dance groups.

Friends Daniel Woods and Ezekiel Stoneham enjoyed some well-deserved refreshment after they completed the half-marathon earlier.

Mr Woods, 34, said: “The crowd was lovely. They really cheered us on and at Johnny Barnes roundabout they were great.

“We’re now just enjoying the rest of the day — good music, good food, a few beers — this is what the day is all about.”

Retired hospitality worker Cyndi Anderson, 65, also had reason to celebrate.

She said: “This is the first time in years that I’ve been able to be here. I worked in the hotels, which meant that I was always working on Bermuda Day every year — all the holidays every year.

“So for me it’s just great to be here and enjoy it — to soak up the atmosphere and take a look around.”

For the people who did have to work on Bermuda’s special day, the event was a boon. Bars and restaurants were busy as residents took advantage of the long weekend.

Tom Steinhoff, co-owner of The Front Yard bar, said: “It’s a perfect day for it.

“We’ve got a great crowd right now — tourists and locals all having a great time.“

Recalling last year’s Bermuda Day Parade, which took place under a deluge of rain, Mr Steinhoff said: “I guess we’re pretty resilient so we can have fun under any weather, but today is great compared to last year.

“It’s absolutely perfect. It really couldn’t be any better.

“It’s just great to see this energy on Front Street.”

That energy was constantly maintained by master of ceremonies Patrina O’Connor-Paynter, who kept up a non-stop commentary of proceedings.

Taking a brief break from her duties, she told The Royal Gazette: “I’m getting plenty of energy myself today.

“Last year the crowds showed plenty of energy — in the rain, in the wind, cloudy weather — but today we have bright sunshine.

“And do you know what? Sunshine brings energy.

“We have people dancing in the street, we have people dancing in their chairs, people just having a great time.”

The diversity of the island was also on display.

Bermuda Day Parade (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

One of the biggest roars from the crowd came when dancers from the Association of Filipinos in Bermuda took centre stage.

Wearing bright red and yellow costumes, the ensemble paused in front of the VIP area to give David Burt, the Premier, and other well-known guests a display of grace and elegance.

Mr Burt earlier said the day was one of unification and that the holiday was a time that “captures the spirit of our island”.

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Published May 25, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated May 25, 2024 at 8:02 am)

Sunshine and culture bring energy for parade crowds

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