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Parade of the Bands draws huge crowds

Parade of Bands 2017 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Revellers dressed in their carnival best descended on the East End this afternoon for the Bermuda Heroes’ Weekend Parade of Bands 2017.

Sporting glittering costumes and colourful headdresses, thousands of partygoers danced their way from Number 2 Gate to Clearwater Beach.

More still headed to St David’s to watch as the parade made its way through Southside, with a collection of bands providing musical entertainment.

“This is my third time and it seems to be getting better and better,” said Suzy-Q Albouy, who was dressed head to toe in a pink, turquoise and lilac costume, which she spiced up with some bright purple feathers. “It’s about fun, happiness, relaxing and letting it all go. It’s about enjoying yourself and living life because you never know what tomorrow will bring.”

The 52-year-old from Hamilton Parish added: “I’m thankful that this beautiful island of Bermuda can put together an event like this and bring people together.”

For Bermudian Daniela D’Amato and New York resident Alexes Eden the parade was also all about having fun and letting go.

Ms D’Amato, who was one of the banner girls for the Party People band, added that it’s about having a good time with friends.

Ms Eden, who was also dressed in a Party People costume that she put together at the last minute, added: “This is my first time in Bermuda — it’s beautiful.”

For Darius Burns, from Charlotte in North Carolina, the event was a way to celebrate his late Bermudian grandfather Edmund Thompson.

“This is my celebration to him,” said the 20-year-old, who was sporting an orange, turquoise and black headdress.

He explained that it is only his second visit to Bermuda and that while his father came to watch the America’s Cup, he was keen to experience the Bermuda Heroes’ Weekend festivities.

Barbara-Anne Thorne, who was dressed in the pink, turquoise and purple Nova Mas International Aurora costume complete with feathered headdress, was taking part in her second Parade of Bands.

“We all love soca, so it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “We did it last year and were so nervous.”

The 49-year-old from Hamilton Parish said so many of the dancers were younger but they found it to be a liberating experience “to see women of every size, shape and colour loving their bodies”.

The event was also a first for Bernard Wade, from Pembroke, who was dressed in neon green shorts and a blue feathered headband.

The 33-year-old said: “It means a good time, having fun with friends and enjoying some time off.”

The Parade of Bands was the final event in the BHW line-up, which kicked off with Five Star Friday at the National Sports Stadium. Other events included yesterday’s Pan in the Park and a raft-up at Shelly Bay on Saturday. And the Super Hero J’Ouvert, which ran from 3am to 8am today, gave revellers the chance to show off their stamina in a festive atmosphere at Bernard Park.