Bermuda Day, celebrated on May 24th (or the weekday nearest May 24th if that date falls on a weekend), is a public holiday that is considered the first unofficial day of summer. Locals celebrate by going boating or by taking their first swim in the ocean for the year. The Bermuda Day holiday is held on May 24th where Bermudians and visitors line the streets to enjoy a colourful celebration that includes a marathon in the morning followed by a parade in the afternoon that winds through the streets of Hamilton. The first Bermuda Day Parade was held in 1979 and now exists as a unique opportunity for the island’s community to flaunt their cultural expressions. Entries in the parade include scores of floats, dance groups, marching bands, majorettes and gombey troupes. Of all the entries that are highly anticipated, floats are a special addition as they are hand-crafted using natural materials such as dried flowers, rice, macaroni, kidney beans, tree bark and seeds. Each year the floats compete for prizes in a variety of categories. One is sure to know when the parade is coming to a close as hundreds of people are seen dancing in the street following a gombey troupe, signifying the end of the festivities.
BERMUDA DAY 2014
The 2014 Bermuda Day Parade will begin 1:30 p.m. It will move along Marsh Folly Road; and continue right through to the top of Cedar Avenue. A left turn will then be made on to Church Street, followed by a right turn on to Court Street. The parade will move through Front Street and up Queen Street with dispersals following final performances at the City Hall Car Park.
For the safety of the public, as the parade gets to the top of Queen Street, the floats will make a right turn on to Church Street, park in front of City Hall and remain there on display throughout the afternoon. The dance trucks, however, must make a slight left turn and then proceed along Wesley Street, unload the dancers at the performance site and move on to the back of the City viaPark Road.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
8:50a.m. Sinclair Packwood Memorial Cycle Race
Finish: Cedar Avenue
9:00 a.m. Annual Marathon
Finish: Bernard Park
9:45 a.m. Heritage Junior Classic Race
Start: in front of Docksiders, Front Street
Finish: Bernard Park
1:30 p.m. Bermuda Day Heritage Parade
Start: Marsh Folly Road
Finish: City Hall Car Park, Hamilton