SailGP Street Fest to take place on Front Street on May 11
A street festival will be held this week as the island prepares to welcome the international boating race SailGP.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority has teamed up with the City of Hamilton for the event on Wednesday, when part of Front Street will be turned over to al fresco dining accompanied by entertainment and vendors.
Boat displays and community sailing clubs will also help to highlight Bermuda’s maritime heritage.
Charles H Jeffers II, the BTA chief executive officer, said: “The island is buzzing with excitement as we countdown to the return of SailGP in Bermuda.
“SailGP will be bigger and better with exciting hospitality experiences for visitors and locals at the Cross Island Event Village.
“The SailGP Street Fest is an opportunity to engage our visitors at an event that fuses the excitement of SailGP racing, Bermuda’s rich history of ocean racing and the unique Bermudian experiences that our visitors rave about.”
A BTA spokeswoman added: “While Front Street will be at the heart of the action, Hamilton Harbour will be the backdrop, brimming with boating activity throughout the event.
“The evening will start with the debut appearance of an F50 foiling across the harbour from SailGP newcomer, Team Canada.
“The Canadians will make the Front Yard venue their home base during the festivities.
“The Spirit of Bermuda will be cruising through Hamilton waters and is expected to mark the occasion with the firing of a cannon from the sloop.”
She said: “An exciting addition to the festivities will be the weekly Wednesday Night Fleet Racing repositioning its course from the Great Sound to start and end at the Front Street flagpole so that diners and pedestrians can enjoy the sailing competition.”
Dwayne Caines, the Corporation of Hamilton chief executive officer, said that the City was “delighted” to support the BTA for the event.
He added: “Hosting this celebration in the heart of the City is a perfect way to launch the SailGP campaign and connect our visitors and locals with the City’s vibrant businesses.
“Hamilton has a rich history as a maritime port dating back to our island’s early beginnings and we are proud to provide sponsorship support for this internationally-acclaimed event which pays tribute to that continued legacy.”
The BTA spokeswoman said that the island’s maritime community will provide artefacts from Bermuda’s sail racing heritage to feature at the festival.
She added: “Bermuda’s grass roots sailing clubs will present their comet class fleet, and attendees can enjoy displays of Bermuda’s Fitted Dinghy and the International One Design sailing vessels.
“The Bermuda Power Boat Association will also be on site with a display of both the powerful Win Race Jr Boat and 28 Skater S22 vessels.”
Restaurants involved in the dining experience are to include Flanagan’s, Astwood Arms, Port O’ Call and Bermuda Bistro at the Beach. Booking was “strongly” recommended.
The spokeswoman said: “Tables will be available on the street with live performances by Working Title Band and DJ Chubb.
“Vendors will be selling art, crafts, snacks, and desserts throughout the night, while Goslings will provide cocktails for festivalgoers.
“Speciality dessert truck, Mix & Roll, will be a featured vendor for the event.”
The street festival will run from 7pm to 10pm on May 11.
Front Street will be reserved for pedestrians between Burnaby Hill and Parliament Street from 6pm.
Limited vendor spots are available and interested organisations that meet the criteria were invited to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for the remaining spots by May 8.