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Christmas spirit shines brightly in East End

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Community spirit made way for the Christmas spirit in the East End last night.

The annual Christmas Walkabout has become a popular community event in St George.

Each year the National Trust invites the public to explore some of the oldest occupied buildings in the New World while musicians, dancers, singers and school groups volunteer to kick off the Christmas season in King's Square.

Residents opened their historic homes, with the Old Rectory, Samaritans' Lodge, Buckingham, Tucker House and the Globe Hotel all aglow with candlelight.

Tara Cassidy of La Garza Bermuda said she had been up all night decorating her design studio for the event. Her lofty space shelters a lanky Christmas “tree” made entirely of driftwood.

The decor, as well as Ms Cassidy's upcycled adornments, is made from “anything I can get my hands on,” she said.

This year she created a special turtle ornament made from pink sand and resin to celebrate what she has dubbed “the year of the turtle” after the Island celebrated its first hatchlings for 100 years.

Part of the proceeds will benefit the Bermuda Turtle Project

The St George resident has been attending the event for as long as it's been around, but said: “Even though I've lived here my whole life, I feel more at home than ever.

“It's such an honour to be part of this incredibly talented group of entrepreneurs working to revitalise this town. St George's is already amazing but we're determined to make it ever better and that's already paying off.”

The MV Varuna was once late arriving to Bermuda on its usual crossing when it happened upon the Trust walk. Captain Martin Van Breems said they now make it a point to come late every year to catch the event.

Drums echoed down Water Street as the Royal Bermuda Regiment Band sounded their arrival.

“That's our cue,” Jacqui Frith, of the Highland Dance Division, said. Every year the Bermuda Islands Pipe Band dancers follow the Regiment.

Ms Frith has been dancing the highland fling since she was 7.

“I love it,” she said of the Walkabout. “It's one of my favourite festive traditions.”

Makeda Simmons grew up at the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences in St George.

“I've never seen it this busy before,” she said.

Ms Simmons manned the cider station at 250-year-old Buckingham House last night, but can usually be found playing Phillipa Goodrich, a favoured slave mistress, on the Haunted History Tour.

Tour organiser and cultural tourism manager for St George, Kristin White, said: “The Walkabout is always a magical night.

“I love the town all the time so walkabout is no different for me. It's great to see people sharing in the magic that we as residents and business owners experience everyday.”

Top talent: a dancer with In Motion School of Dance performs for the large crowd gathered for the Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout in St George last night (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Crowd pleaser: an In Motion School of Dance performer at the Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Captivated faces: children watch the dancers on the stage in King's Square during last night's Bermuda National Trust Walkabout (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Star turn: the In Motion School of Dance performers at the Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Live entertainment: children watch the performances by In Motion School of Dance at the Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Festive cheer: In Motion School of Dance spreads some holiday spirit during the Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Shining stars: In Motion School of Dance performers at the Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout in St George (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Holiday spirit: a spectator donned some festive reindeer antlers to attend last night's Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Enjoying the show: a young fan watches the performances by In Motion School of Dance at the Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
On the stage: children watch In Motion School of Dance at the Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published December 05, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 05, 2015 at 1:00 pm)

Christmas spirit shines brightly in East End

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