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‘Amazing’ evening of family fun

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Crowd pleasers: Gombey Evolution troupe perform for the large crowds at the opening of Harbour Nights (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Visitors and locals flocked to Front Street yesterday to enjoy the first Harbour Nights of the year.

As music filled the air and Gombeys and Jump2Bfit entertained the crowd, vendors sold a variety of goods including arts, crafts and local cuisine.

“So far it’s been going really well,” Jennifer Rodrigues, of Jennifer Rodrigues Designs, said. “It’s the first night but it’s a good crowd and a nice turnout of vendors.”

Ms Rodrigues, who started her stall at Harbour Nights in 2006, added: “The entertainment is comfortable — it’s a nice atmosphere.”

Young entrepreneur Ashley Stephens, of Ashley’s Lemonade, was getting a steady flow of customers.

The 13-year-old, whose stall has become a regular feature of the event over the past six years, noted that the school year had not ended yet.

“I know it’s definitely going to pick up and I know it’s going to be a great event.”

Junior town crier Dequan Trott, who helped proclaim Harbour Nights, told The Royal Gazette that “it feels good to be back”.

And town crier Ed Christopher added: “It’s sort of quiet but it’s good to have it reopened again. For a first night, it’s pretty good. Every stall has somebody at it and that’s a good sign.”

Don and Ann Becker from California are visiting the island for the International One Design sailing regatta. Although they have been to Bermuda about six times before, it was their first Harbour Nights.

“I think it’s great, it’s very nice,” Mrs Becker said, adding that they had been tasting some of the local cuisine.

John DeStefano, from Jersey, is visiting Bermuda for the first time on the Norwegian Breakaway and was enjoying an evening out with his family.

“It’s amazing. It’s a beautiful town, the music is great, the food is good, the vendors are great and the children are enjoying it.”

Mr DeStefano said he had visited several islands before but Bermuda had knocked Jamaica off the top of his list.

“It’s the most amazing island I’ve been to in my life,” he said.

Trevor Rawson, of Southampton, was also enjoying the atmosphere.

“Since the festival they did for the America’s Cup, they’ve upped the ante for Harbour Nights,” Mr Rawson said.

“It definitely looks like a good scene and I look forward to seeing how it progresses into 2017.”

Mark Roberts, co-owner of Excellence Cruises, brought a full boatload of people to the event.

“It looks like there are more stalls,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for the last four to five years.

Mr Roberts added that with the cruise ships starting to arrive, there would be a lot more people on the island, “which is great for this sort of event”.

“It’s only the first week but there will probably be more vendors coming up.”

Jeannie Vogel and Delores “Hug Collector” Morgan, who are visiting from New York, especially enjoyed the jewellery and art on offer.

“It’s very nice to see the local artisans,” Ms Vogel said. “The people here are very friendly. We like that too.”

Ms Morgan recalled Harbour Nights from her last visit about ten years ago, when the cruise ship she and her husband were on docked on Front Street.

“It was tremendous — they had a big parade,” she said, adding that this year’s event was not quite the same.

Carolyn O’Brien, from New Jersey, was also expecting the event to be a bit livelier.

But having last visited the island in 2010, she was happy to see a part of Bermuda she hadn’t come across before.

For more photographs, see the image gallery at the bottom of our home page

Proving popular: a large crowd attended the opening of Harbour Nights on Front Street (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Fun for all: residents and visitors came together for the first Harbour Nights of the year (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Live music: a performer delights passers-by at the opening of Harbour Nights (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Bermy bouncers: Jump2Bfit at the opening of Harbour Nights (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)