Christmas Parade kicks off festive season
The streets of Hamilton were last night lined with crowds as the city transformed into a winter wonderland to mark the start of the Christmas season.
Hundreds of revellers of all ages were treated to a parade of floats, dance groups, motorbikes, rope-skippers and Gombeys.
Little Noa Bashir, aged 8 months, enjoyed her first parade.
She watched the fun with mom Sherice, dad Nhuri, and godmother Karla Holder.
Mr Bashir said the event was about fun for the island's younger residents.
The Pembroke man added: “This is a beautiful thing that they put on, so we wanted to come and make sure she gets to be a part of it.
“It's a good Bermuda tradition. It's something fun for children and for families.”
Joann Grant was also celebrating the event with her family, including her twin grandsons Jabari and Jabri Hayward, aged 10, and niece Zayanh, aged 8.
The 64-year-old Paget resident said part of the attraction of this year's parade was seeing her granddaughter perform with In Motion School of Dance.
Ms Grant said she had seen many of the same faces over the 20-plus years she has attended the parade. She added that the traditional Santa might get most of the limelight, but that the dance ensembles were the real stars of the show each year.
She said: “A lot of children are in the dance groups.”
The McClure family — Bill and Jessica, both 35, daughter Sophie, aged 6, and Zack, aged 2 — from Paget, were at their fifth event.
Ms McClure said: “It's a great family tradition — the kids enjoy it, and it's a great start to the Christmas holiday.”
She said her family attended the event as part of a larger group of friends each year and took the same spot near the start of the parade.
Michael Branco said that his family's spot along Front Street also stayed the same year after year.
The 71-year-old from Smith's said the event was about spending time with his family, including granddaughters Isabella, aged 2, and Madison, aged 4.
Mr Branco said the people were the best part of the parade.
He explained: “You get to see friends and make new friends. It's sort of a coming together of the people.”
Four-legged family members were also out to mark the occasion.
Blanche Jones, 73, of Hamilton Parish, and granddaughter Zamir Tucker-Caines, aged 9, were joined by Ms Jones's four-year-old Chihuahua, Chico.
Zamir said the police, the bikes, and the skippers were her favourites.
Aerial acrobats in striking gold and silver leotards showed off their skills on the float from Lotus Bermuda.
Carol singers performed behind the float from the Portuguese Cultural Association accompanied by a live band.
Sequins in all colours dominated the outfits of dancers from troupes including the Sui Generis Dance Team, St George's Original Dancerettes and the Rated E Dance Crew.
Floats from sponsor MarketPlace featured Frozen and Star Wars characters.
Santa Claus and his elves were given a Bermuda touch with Gombeys from Gombey Warriors.
•Go to www.royalgazette.com for full picture gallery of the Christmas Parade