When the Island stops and celebrates…
Heritage Day – I guess I should check out the actual significance rather than waffle on… It starts late afternoon on the Tuesday when people arrive along Front St and start marking out the spots along the pavement with ‘Gaffer tape’ for their spot to watch the parade.
The day’s events begin with an 8 km Rollerblade race, followed by 10 km bicycle race and then the 1/2 Marathon with the ultimate ‘Athletic’ burst down Front St in front of probably half the Island’s population.
Then there’s the Float Parade – this is ‘WHAT’ Bermuda stops for!
Both sides of the main street and a circuit through Hamilton is lined with families, deckchairs and ‘coolers’ [Eskies in Oz but there isn’t the reliance on Alcohol that pervades back home].
It is a family and community day. The primary schools are here, Majorettes [Marching Girls] abound, Gombey Dancer troupes are interspersed and Bermuda’s Heritage is on display for all to see… Parks & Gardens float, ethnic groups, their African Heritage Troupe all marching, dancing and swaying for the 4 hours it takes parade to
complete the circuit.
Just a totally different experience – to be there and feel part of this community brought a tingle up the back of my neck, my feet were tapping and just couldn’t sit down for the whole period of the passing parade – parents were moving with the Majorettes to assist the ‘wee ones’ who were marching
The Gombey Dancers went non stop dancing to their drums [tradition has it that you throw coins at their feet for good luck] – and the ‘happiness and joy’ that permeated the watching crowd including us was infectious.
[pic] GOMBEY DANCERS are part of Bermuda’s Heritage. These dancers can be frenetic during the parade and tradition has it that ‘coins are tossed at their feet’ or the GOMBEY will get you in your sleep!
…same as the bogey man under the bed story…
[pic] Then theres the troups of marching girls in the brightest of colours plus, of course, the odd Drag Queen
[pic] And then there was the lawnmower man who ran the half marathon to the delight of the crowd.