The authorities have nudged Bermuda Day forward by a day to the 25th May to create a long weekend. This worked out well for us, so we decided to get on the bus to Hamilton to watch the show, arriving late morning – and in time to see some half marathon runners doing their thing prior to the parade. The Bermudian authorities have this worked out in smart style. Similar logistics are required for both events. So, blend them together and save some money. This is clever stuff.
With time on our hands before the parade, we decided to walk along the harbour front to the Hamilton Princess Hotel, colloquially known as the Pink Palace. The principal reason being that Maria’s Aunty Jane used to work there and Maria wanted to see what it looks like. The answer to that is very pink and very pleasant, actually. And the visit to the Hamilton Princess proved to be fortuitous. We asked the person at the front desk for any information on the Bermuda Day parade. Not only did she photocopy a map of the route for us, she also advised us to go to the Terrace restaurant where it is possible to watch the parade from the comfort of your dining table. So that’s exactly what we did.
Bermuda Day Parade
The Hamilton locals reserve their place on the street by carving out a section of pavement with gaffer tape and camping out overnight. This is an impressive display of hardcore determination. According to someone we spoke with at the Hamilton Princess, some of the families have had the same place on the streets for years. So it can get a bit territorial. Of course, we avoided all that by simply turning up and going to the pub.
We were greeted by a smiling employee at the Terrace who made it clear that we could only stay to watch the parade as long as we are drinking. Fair enough we thought and, after agreeing to those terms, we were shown to an outside table which did indeed have a great view of the street to watch the parade.
The warm-up act was a woman from a local radio station talking to people in the crowd. The second choice apparently as the first choice was ill. Her banter clanged out loud and clear from the loudspeakers set up on the street below us. She started a quiz with her captive audience offering up prizes such as a can of Ashley’s Lemonade, a popsicle, a bar of soap, or a pot of jam. This didn’t seem to whip up much of a frenzy for some reason, but fortunately, not long afterwards, the parade began.
The Bermuda Day Parade is not like a Rio carnival; the displays are, let’s say, very well spaced out. But what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in pride. Here are the photographs.
We didn’t stay until the end of the parade, principally because we couldn’t honour our obligation to keep drinking. By mid-afternoon, we found ourselves off our respective boxes and thought it best to reserve sufficient mental capacity to get back to Lady Jane. So we blundered back to the bus station, photographing some of the sites on the way, and caught the number 11 bus back to St George’s.