One love for Bermuda Day
Thousands of people took over the streets of Hamilton yesterday for the Bermuda Day Parade.
Parade watchers took up their staked-out spots with family members and friends for the annual event, which marks the official start of summer.
The theme of this year's event was “Bermudian Excellence”.
Shelly Fubler, 57, said the theme meant doing the best you can.
She added: “No matter what your situation, look at the best of it, and try and put your best foot forward.”
The Warwick resident and self-described “parade veteran” said that the music, Gombeys and entertainment were part of what drew her back year after year.
Ms Fubler said her message to Bermudians was to love each other.
She added: “Be kind to each other, be respectful of each other — because you don't know what your fellow person is going through.”
Cindy-Ann Douglas, who is “over 50”, said that the theme was one close to her heart.
She added: “This is where I was born and raised and schooled. This is where the majority of my family is.”
The Sandys woman said that her message to Bermudians on the holiday was to “stop the violence”.
Ms Douglas added: “Everybody wake up.”
She said that she would like to see more events held throughout the year to bring people together.
Her husband-to-be Mark Robinson, 50, said that “Bermudian Excellence” meant a recognition of the past and working towards a better future.
Mr Robinson, also from Sandys, added: “It's about coming out, bringing your best, being your best, and doing what you have to do to make your life a lot better.”
He said the parade's atmosphere and the chance to see people he had not seen in a while was what brought him back to the event year after year.
Mr Robinson said his message to Bermudians was “live the life you love and love the life you live”.
Tricray Astwood, of gospel group Last Call, said the theme was a celebration of “the best of the best”.
He added: “I believe that Bermudians can compete on any level, in any market, in any field.
“Right now, we are seeing more and more people winning. We are at the forefront of our industries.
“It's just that celebration of the excellent island that we are.”
The 32-year-old, from Hamilton Parish, said it was an honour for he and Adrian Jones, 29, the other half of Last Call, to perform in the parade for the first time.
Mr Astwood said: “It's such a great way to give back to the community and to celebrate. We're just glad to be a part of it.”
Mr Astwood said a sense of community was Bermuda's biggest asset. He added: “We do our best when we stick together.
“We are a small island. In unity we can really conquer anything, as we are proving.”
Jim and Christine Osborn. American tourists aged 62 and 60, said they had stumbled on the parade by accident.
Ms Obsorn said: “It's wonderful.” Mr Osborn added: “It's a great bash.”
He said the retired pair travelled full time and had sailed to Bermuda from North Carolina on a yacht.
Mr Osborn said the pair had received a warm reception.
He added: “Bermuda is incredibly kind, and polite, and open. It's a wonderful place.”
This year's parade included more than 50 different groups, including bands, dance troupes and Gombeys.
The parade started on Front Street near Albuoy's Point.
Participants travelled along Front Street, up Court Street, left on to Church Street, down Cedar Avenue and ended at Bernard Park.