Kites and spirits soar at Horseshoe Bay
Kites of all colours, shapes and sizes graced the skies over Horseshoe Bay yesterday as hundreds of residents celebrated the much-loved Good Friday tradition.
Locals and visitors soaked up a fun atmosphere at the annual Good Friday KiteFest — and the sunny weather heralded the first days of summer for many beachgoers.
“It really is an opportunity for everyone to be competitive,” said Gavin “Djata” Smith, executive director and founder of the Chewstick Foundation, the organiser of the event.
“We have a variety of competition categories this year, everything from smallest kite to biggest kite, prettiest kite to ugliest kite.
“This year, everything was a bit touch and go, but thanks to the sponsorship of Logic and the Bermuda Tourism Authority we've been able to pull it off.
“The weather is gorgeous and I couldn't have asked for better — I was worried there wouldn't be enough wind, but it's a gorgeous, beautiful Bermuda day.
“It's one of the few holidays that are truly interactive and I hope everyone gets fully involved.”
Yesterday marked a special day for one couple, who have been married for ten years.
“Our first date was right here on this beach eleven years ago,” said Stuart Anderson, of Sandys. “It's my favourite holiday in Bermuda,” added Sandy Cook-Anderson.
“It's a wonderful celebration of our Lord — how many places can you go and look at the sky and see so many beautiful things to remind us that Christ has risen this weekend?”
For others, it was their first Good Friday at Horseshoe Bay. Craig Russell, 36, of Paget, and his four-year-old daughter Florence made a kite to celebrate their first Easter in Bermuda.
“It's been exciting,” Florence said. “I helped make it, but Daddy did the rest.”
“It's just beautiful here,” Mr Russell added. “It's a lovely community day where everyone gets out and has fun.”
Colette Fitzpatrick, 28, of Warwick, flew a kite for the first time.
She said her boss Dr Andrew Madeiros, owner of the Ettrick Animal Hospital, showed her how to make one.
“It's pretty special — my parents are Irish, so I made the kite with a shamrock on it,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.
“They make the kites and I help get them up,” Dr Madeiros explained. “We try to do it each year as a work event.”
Yesterday's event was also a first for Bermuda Regiment Staff Officer Andrew Clarke and his three children.
“It's particularly nice that a number of people have put work into their kites and made their own.
“The real simple ones are the ones winning the day here,” said the 42-year-old Warwick resident.
Sharon Dawson, of Southampton, remarked on the diversity and colourfulness of the kites on display.
“We've got everything from Bermuda kites to modern designer kites, and there are kites that look like they shouldn't be flying but they're going up — it is fantastic.”
Other beachgoers simply soaked up the atmosphere and relaxed.
Sandy Mayor, of Paget, said: “It is perfect weather — a great day for kite flying.
“There's a nice mix of visitors and locals and it's fun watching the locals help the visitors get their kites up.”
Pat Simons, of Warwick, added: “It's phenomenal after this bad weather we've had — we needed this badly.
“It's been a nasty winter — the Easter Bunny brought us this day.”
For Alex Spence, 30, and Andre Robichaud, 33, the beach atmosphere made for a pleasant change from their native Canada.
“There are so many kites — it's really cool and unique,” Mr Spence said. “We've definitely never been on the beach before and flown a kite.”
But for others, flying kites at the beach has long been a tradition.
“We come here every year,” said Katya Shnurova, 28, of Hamilton Parish. “It's a family event but we still come down and enjoy it.
“It's a big party with music — it feels like the first day of summer,” said Natalia Isaeva, 36, of Pembroke. Early beachgoers were welcomed by a DJ at 11am, and registration for the kite and fishcake competitions began at 12pm.
An Easter egg hunt and live performances started at 1pm and more live performances began at 3pm.
Competition winners were announced at 3.30pm and Wacky Races were held at 4pm.