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Cleanup crew praise Elbow Beach revellers

Cleanup crews gave high marks to this year's Christmas Day gathering at Elbow Beach, which left the sands relatively litter free despite the event drawing impressive crowds.

“We were really pleased,” reported Anne Hyde, executive director of Keep Bermuda Beautiful (KBB), in the aftermath of the tidying.

Participants used the bins provided and stacked their empties alongside the containers when they were full, she said, while volunteers, assisted by the Department of Parks, later hauled away 350lbs of trash and 1,400lbs of recyclables.

Year by year, KBB hopes to guide the Christmas Day bash into becoming “truly a leave-no-traces event”, Ms Hyde said.

“In other locations, there are truly successful big scale events where the expression is that you take only photographs and leave only footprints. There is a movement in Bermuda to this for all public events.”

Added Ms Hyde: “We were also pleased to know that additional stakeholders were involved in making this successful for everyone. The Coral Beach Club allowed parking at Horizons and the police were involved proactively in assisting with traffic, so drivers weren't getting tickets and imposing safety hazards.”

With champagne corks popping and abundant Santa outfits on display, Elbow Beach turned into an open-air party from early in the day.

“What better way to spend Christmas than on the beach?” said Amy McGlynn, a local who came for the festivities with her husband Conor, from Ashbourne, Ireland, and their two sons Cillian, 4, and Lorcan, aged 2.

Asked if they'd brought champagne, Mrs McGlynn said: “Of course. There's mimosas for us and the children have a packed lunch. We're ready for the next three hours.”

Sunnier skies than last year's beach gathering capped off a week of almost unseasonably fine weather.

Honeymooners from the United States, Mona and Rani, were new to the traditional Christmas at Elbow Beach.

“We just got here yesterday — it was a surprise; I didn't know we were coming to Bermuda,” explained Mona, who said the couple had already enjoyed their champagne courtesy of the Royal Palms Hotel. “I didn't know where we were going until we got the boarding passes at the airport.”

Many swimmers were braving the seas, from toddlers at the water's edge to swimmers, many with the appropriately Christmas-coloured outfits, out in the waves.

“I tried it, but it felt freezing to me,” admitted Rani, with his new wife adding: “At least he tried it.”

Nearby were visitors Nigel White and Adrian Wilson. Asked if they'd furnished themselves with champagne for the occasion, Mr Wilson laughed and said: “We're from Canada — we brought beer.”

The two had attended last year's Christmas at the beach, but agreed that the beaches were more welcoming this time around.

“I used to live in Australia — you get a lot of people coming to the beach for Christmas down there, but you're not allowed to drink,” Mr White said. “This makes a nice difference.”

Elbow Beach on Christmas Day. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published December 27, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 29, 2014 at 12:13 am)

Cleanup crew praise Elbow Beach revellers

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