Bermuda Carnival ‘the best of its kind’
Revellers hailed the fifth annual Bermuda Carnival as being among the best of its kind, an organiser said yesterday.
Jason Sukdeo welcomed the “positive feedback” from partygoers who were treated to packed schedule of events.
The Bermuda Carnival president spoke to The Royal Gazette as the Parade of Bands snaked its way through Hamilton ahead of entertainment from DJs at the Last Lap in the car park of City Hall, where the weekend officially started three days earlier with Five Star Friday.
Hundreds of people took to the water at Shelly Bay for the Raft-Up on Saturday and Sunday's activities included a Wetta event at Tobacco Bay and the all-night J'Ouvert Celebration in Dockyard.
Mr Sukdeo said: “The weekend has been really good so far, no major incidents to report. We've had good weather, the bands have been on the road today — another great day.
“I'm hearing stories from people who have been experiencing it and they said it's definitely one of the best carnivals they've ever been to. From the concert on Friday night, the raft-up on Saturday ... it has all been positive feedback.”
Mr Sukdeo said the carnival weekend was growing “year after year” and he believed it attracted visitors to the island as unique events like the raft-up proved popular attractions while streamlining transport options also set Bermuda apart.
He said: “We have more of a united set-up and make things easy for someone to participate.”
Mr Sukdeo added: “I can tell that folks do enjoy the simplicity of Bermuda's carnival and it makes the experience better for them.”
He said the event's team will take time to assess how it can improve or adapt in the future.
However, Mr Sukdeo assured fans: “We can definitely say that we're looking to go again next year.”
Macdonald Stovell, 81, from Pembroke, “thoroughly enjoyed” the parade, which he watched with wife Janice, 76.
He said: “I was looking for joy and happiness, I found it — immensely.
“I like the excitement and all the costumes. People like to relax and express themselves after a long winter.”
Denise Wilson-Adams, 52, thought the new location, after the event moved from Southside, was “amazing”.
The senior accounts administrator, of Devonshire, said: “It's a different kind of routine this year than it has been in previous years.”
She added: “With this format you get to see it differently, it's more spaced out.”
Beverley Richardson, 56, enjoyed the energy, colours and “wide variety” of people who took part. She added: “I love soca.”
Karthika Griffith, from Warwick, took part in the parade and was joined by friends from the US and Britain after the group met on the “carnival circuit”.
The 32-year-old accountant said: “I love the fact that it brings people to the island.
“I love the fact that it's a happy time in general, all the negativity gets pushed to the side and people are having a good time, there are positive vibes.”
Ms Griffith's friend Vicky Gunraj, 29, from Miami, was at her sixth carnival in a row, after taking part in festivities in Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Guyana and Trinidad.
The policewoman said it was her third year at the Bermuda Carnival. She added: “I love Bermuda. It's safe, it's clean.”
Gabrielle Virgo, 59, visited from Maryland with her husband Ernest Carter, who celebrated his 65th birthday yesterday.
She said: “We came for his birthday and here we have a festival, so it worked out wonderfully.
“We did not know the carnival was on this weekend until we got here, it was a very pleasant surprise. I like the colours, the culture, the camaraderie — it's a lot of fun.”