Christmas touches down at LF Wade International
Christmas made a spectacular arrival at LF Wade International Airport last night with the unveiling and lighting of what can officially be named the tallest Christmas tree in Bermuda.
Airport staff, airlines and agencies gathered for the lighting of a 36ft beautifully decorated tree and with it came the announcement of the Great Christmas Carol Off, which will involve 600 schoolchildren competing in a musical competition.
The three-day contest next month kicks-off a programme of entertainment and social events that will take place at the airport throughout the festive season and beyond.
Nikki Fagan, head of brand development and communications at Skyport, said: “There will be choirs, ensembles and even a steel pan orchestra on December 11, 13 and 14.
“There will be about 600 students participating over the three days who will be competing for a top prize of $5,000 towards their respective musical programmes.
“Second-place winners will be receiving $2,500. We will need your support because we are going to have a People’s Choice Award to pick the best of the best. We have invited residents of Bermuda’s senior-care facilities to join us while the kids are singing as well as the outbound passengers.”
Ms Fagan said there would be an exciting roster of vendors selling festive gifts, while the Whistling Rum Bar & Grill will offer Christmas happy-hour specials throughout the holiday season.
Somers Isle Minimart will also have Bermuda-inspired gifts and there will be free parking for all event attendees.
Aside from the competition, Skyport has committed to invest at least $100,000 every year in Bermuda’s young people, including in sports, education and the performing arts.
While the attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and musical entertainment, Dwayne Caines, the chief executive of the City of Hamilton, which boasts “the second-biggest Christmas tree in Bermuda”, was present and the friendly rivalry was relentless.
Aaron Adderley, Skyport’s president, said: “We want to welcome the proud owners of Bermuda’s second-tallest Christmas tree — our good friends from the Corporation of Hamilton. The gauntlet has been thrown. The tallest tree, which is behind me, was 40ft tall when it arrived but unfortunately we had something called a ceiling in the way so we had to trim a few feet off the top but it comes in just shy of 37ft.”
Mr Adderley did not stop there, referring to the corporation’s tree, which has a metal pole that extends its height up to about 40 feet with a star on top,
Mr Adderley joked: “According to the International Christmas Tree Height Organisation, the ICTHO, one is not allowed to put a six-foot pole on top of the tree in order for it to be the tallest tree.
“The vendor who sold us this tree has only sold two — the other one is in Macy’s, so any of you who are travelling to New York, go and see the sister tree. CEO Caines has been great to deal with. We call him ‘Candy’ Caines at this time of year. The banter has been great. I said to him we are going to eat you alive like a chestnut roasting on an open fire.”
The tree, which was imported and decorated by Exclusive Events, has more than 26,000 LED lights and is adorned with about 1,000 decorations. It weighs more than 5,000lb.
Mr Adderley said the new airport had opened “smack in the middle of the pandemic” and that events that had been planned could not go ahead.
He added: “Now that the dark cloud of Covid has started to lift, we are in a position to do more. We have bigger and better things for the months and years ahead.
“This is our invitation from Skyport to all of you — this is your airport. You don’t have to travel to come and enjoy it.”