Spring breakers are happy even in the rain!
It had all the makings of a fantastic beach party: girls in bikinis, free-flowing booze, a volleyball net and a gigantic water slide.
But the one thing yesterday’s Party on the Rock at Horseshoe Bay couldn’t quite deliver was sunshine.
Instead, the sprinkling of spring breakers from Canada and the US who braved the sands were met with mildly chilly winds and driving rain.
It didn’t seem to bother them though, nor the bubbly team from the Bermuda Department of Tourism, who have organised a series of such events to entertain college students for the next month.
“I think everyone should experience Bermuda at some time in their life,” said 19-year-old arts major Alana Saraco, from St Francis Xavier University, in Nova Scotia. “We are lucky to be here. Back where we were, it’s snowing!”
Her friend Rachel Zickert, also 19 and a business major, added: “We love the Island and love the culture. The houses are beautiful. There was a huge snowstorm at home. I’d rather be here in the rain than in the snowstorm.”
The pair were visiting with university pal Melissa Rodrigues, from Warwick, one of a number of young Bermudian students recruited by the Department to act as “ambassadors” as it tries to revive the Island’s once-popular Spring Break season.
The idea, outlined by Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert, is to encourage the locals to promote Bermuda to their fellow students as a “very viable and accessible destination for the college break”.
The initiative kicked off at the weekend with a “welcome swizzle reception” at Coco Reef, the afternoon beach party and evening events at Rumbar and the Cellar.
More events are planned this week and for the weeks beginning March 3 and March 10.
Tashae Thompson, the Department of Tourism’s manager of events, said almost 200 students obtained free Spring Break event passes for this week.
Only a fraction attended Horseshoe yesterday but those that did were determined to enjoy themselves.
“Everyone is in a great mood,” said Ms Thompson. “Everyone is excited to be in Bermuda. They think it’s absolutely beautiful and everyone is having a good time.”
Ashley Zarzecki, a 20-year-old student at Acadia University, in Nova Scotia, agreed that was true. “It’s good, other than the weather. I love the Island; it’s gorgeous.”
Despite the downpour, several students took a dip in the sea, while even more enjoyed a game of beach volleyball.
Everyone who showed up was treated to free bottles of WKD alcopop; free chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers; and DJ sets from D’General and YGS Entertainment.
A group of Harvard students huddled under umbrellas told
The Royal Gazette they knew nothing about the Department’s Spring Break initiative and stumbled across the beach party by chance.
They added that they appreciated the warm welcome, along with the free food, and hoped future weeks would be advertised more heavily.
“I think we have been treated very hospitably,” said one of the group, a 26-year-old postgraduate called Richard, who didn’t want to give his last name.
“The great thing about Bermuda is that it’s a very close flight. We knew it [the temperature] was going to be in the 60s or 70s. In Boston, it’s in the 30s, so this isn’t bad.”
Jamal Hart, from the Department’s Spring Break team, said the vibe on the beach was positive, regardless of the rain. “The one thing we don’t have any control over is Mother Nature,” he said. “But life is what you make it.”
Tomas Viera, aka as DJ Scoobay of YGS, said: “Today is great; it’s just unfortunate the weather kind of sucks. We are all proud of Government for trying.”
Useful website: www.gotobermuda.com/springbreak.