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Boat parade lands cash donation

Mayor of Hamilton, Charles Gosling (centre), presented Ian Coles, chairman of the Christmas Boat Parade (left), and Steve Thomson, treasurer of the parade, with a $5,000 cheque (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Charles Gosling presented Christmas Boat Parade organisers with a $5,000 donation this morning to support their 2015 event.

After 18 years the committee is ready to step down and the City of Hamilton is exploring the practicalities of taking over its organisation in the future.

The Mayor of Hamilton said he was “delighted” to present the cheque to organisers Steve Thomson and Ian Coles.

Mr Gosling said: “We’ve had a mandate for a number of years of creating a vibrant city and what could be more vibrant than to be on Front Street or out on a boat watching all these boats parading by.

“It is a truly magical event and we are very happy to be here as a sponsor for another year.”

The Boat Parade Village will open at 5pm on December 12 at the No 1 car park. There will be seating, vendors and a DJ, with fireworks scheduled for 8pm.

The event is expected to bring almost 20,000 spectators, according to the Bermuda Police Service. More than 50 boats have signed up to participate and the committee are still accepting registrations. “This should be the biggest and best Christmas Boat parade ever,” Mr Thomson, the committee treasurer, said.

Alongside chairman Mr Coles and co-founder Norma Thomson, he will be stepping down after this year’s event but the group have expressed willingness to work with whomever takes it on.

Mr Thomson said: “I don’t think that it’s any secret that we have approached the City of Hamilton to assist and we’re willing to stay on.

“Bermuda Boat Parade is a registered charity and we’d like to see this go on into the future.

“It’s a wonderful event in Bermuda. It’s certainly supported by Bermudians and it’s magical around Hamilton Harbour, so let’s keep it going.”

Mr Gosling said: “We are certainly giving it consideration. Our events team have held initial meetings.

“Obviously this is not a free event. They are highly dependent on sponsorship. We wonder what the impact would be if the municipality were to step in and what impact that would have on our ability to go out there to get sponsorship.

“We do feel that this is a wonderful event that will receive our full support regardless of who is running it and we feel that it can certainly become bigger and better.”

For more information or to register, visit: www.bermudaboatparade.bm