The annual Cup Match holiday is considered by many to be the best time to be in Bermuda.
Some Bermudians even put the holiday on a par with Christmas, and it’s easy to see why.
Four days of beach parties, camping, cricket, Crown and Anchor, barbecues, a massive raft-up and dozens of parties — Cup Match is a time for celebration.
Here is a guide to the main events taking place this year over the public holiday and weekend of Cup Match 2012.
Wednesday, August 1
- Island Pirate Party, Police Recreation Club, Prospect, off Frog Lane, Devonshire.
Ahoy! The Bermuda Police Rugby Football Club hosts its annual costume pre-Cup Match party.
This year pirates is the theme, so don your swashbuckling gear and swagger down to the Police Recreation Club at Prospect.
Starts 7pm. Cash bar — $50 for 10 drinks. Prizes for best dressed pirate and wench. Tickets are $20, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Collie Buddz and New Kingston, Barr’s Bay Park, Hamilton.
Bermudian artist Collie Buddz performs with US reggae band New Kingston.
VIBE 103FM DJs Smokey, Chubb, Keem and Rusty from 8pm, with live performances from 10pm.
Tickets are $50, $30 under-18s, from www.ptix.bm or Kit ‘n’ Caboodle, Jamaican Grill, Fish ‘n’ Tings, Sovereign Jewellers or any Gosling’s store.
- Beachfest Emancipation Celebration, Horseshoe Bay, Southampton.
The Chewstick Foundation hosts its 7th annual beach party in the beautiful surroundings of Horseshoe Bay.
The party starts at 9pm, with music until 2am. Jamaican dancehall/reggae legend Barrington Levy headlines, with folk/reggae singer Trevor Hall and hip-hop band Dead Prez.
Local artists include Joy T. Barnum, Anti Boy, R?ddler and Canjalae Taylor.
Tickets are $50-60, from www.ptix.bm or the Chewstick Foundation, Court Street, Hamilton.
Thursday, August 2 — Emancipation Day
The official start of Cup Match. This public holiday commemorates the abolition of slavery in Bermuda in 1834.
- Beachfest Emancipation Celebration, Horseshoe Bay.
Enjoy live music and entertainment, food and drink, and an array of fun sports activities at this much-anticipated party.
Games include a giant slide, skateboard half-pipe, Crown and Anchor, Tug-o-War, wacky games, football, volleyball and rugby.
One of the most popular events in Bermuda, this all-day family fun day is free.
Thousands attend each year to enjoy music and dancing under the sun and stars, plus the surf and sand of Horseshoe Bay.
The party takes place from 9am-9pm, with DJs from 11am and live performances from 1pm.
The sports tournaments sign-ups are from 12pm, ready for a 1:30pm start. The Tug-o-War (usually East End vs West End) is at 5:30pm.
Beachfest is a celebration of youth, the arts, culture and community.
The Chewstick Foundation states: “It is in this spirit that we unite a community of varied ages, races and backgrounds to celebrate all of the things Bermuda has been known for since the beginning; beautiful scenery, friendly people, live music and righteous vibes!”
Funds raised go to supporting the charity’s year-round activities which aim to unite people through music, the arts and culture.
For more information and to check the latest event schedule, go to http://beach-fest.com or see www.chewstick.org
- Cup Match Cricket Festival, Somerset Cricket Club, Cricket Lane, Sandys
The first day of the annual two-day fixture between the East End (St George’s Cricket Club) and West End (Somerset Cricket Club).
The cricket match continues a tradition dating back to 1902 and is renowned for fierce but friendly rivalry.
It is also the only time of year when Bermudians can gamble, at the Crown & Anchor tables.
Expect a carnival atmosphere, with abundant food and drink. Seating and refreshments are also available for tourists, at the Visitors’ Stand.
Admission is free for seniors over-65 with ID, $20 for adults and children over-12, $5 for children under-12.
Online tickets are available from www.bdatix.bm
For more information contact Somerset Cricket Club at 297-7866 or 234-0327, or e-mail email@example.com
Friday, August 3 — Somers Day
This public holiday celebrates Admiral Sir George Somers who led the first settlers to Bermuda aboard the Sea Venture in 1609.
- Cup Match Cricket Festival, Somerset Cricket Club, Sandys
The conclusion of the two-day fixture, which was won last year by St George’s Cricket Club.
- Soca vs Reggae — Marshall Law, Royal Naval Dockyard
The 6th annual Soca vs Reggae Cup Match After-party is one of the most eagerly-awaited events of the summer.
Fans of soca and reggae get to choose the winning DJ team as soca and reggae jocks battle over the wheels of steel.
The crowd made reggae the winner last year, but this year will soca succeed?
DJs Shal Marshall, Spice and D’General will play for Team Soca, against DJs Wayne Marshall, Poison Dart and YGS for Team Reggae.
From 9pm-3am. Tickets for this popular event are $40, from www.bdatix.com. Over-18s only.
Saturday, August 4
For many islanders, this marks a day of rest after the partying of the previous two days.
The fun and celebrations continue however, in homes, beaches, bars and nightclubs across the island.
- Gombey Saturdays in the Park, Queen Elizabeth Park (formerly Par-la-Ville), Queen Street, Hamilton
If you want to continue celebrating the island’s culture, why not watch this colourful display by Gombeys?
Relax to the sound of Calypso tunes with a steel pan band from 12-12.40pm, before the Gombeys perform from 12:40-1pm.
Admission is free. Contact 292-0023 for more information.
- Jazz Under the Stars, Fairmont Hamilton Princess
Unwind to the cool sounds of jazz trio Smooth, while you dine on Harley’s Terrace, 6:30-9:30pm.
After dinner the entertainment continues at the Heritage Court with live music from Jamie & Robert, 9:30pm-12am.
Contact 298-5779 for dinner reservations.
Sunday, August 5
- Non-Mariners Race, Mangrove Bay, Somerset
This giant raft-up dates back to the 1960s when amateur non-sailors created homemade non-seaworthy crafts as a joke against the established sailing clubs of the time.
Expect lots of Rum Swizzles, mock boat battles and vessels of all shapes and sizes.
If you don’t have a boat you can still have fun. Swim in the bay from the beach, or watch the action from Sandys Boat Club.
The boat club opens from 10am to 8pm for food and drink, with plenty of viewing space to get a panorama of the antics in the water.
The ‘non-events’ start at about 1pm, with the traditional ‘Non-fly by of Penguins’, accompanied by a marching band and pipers.
The non-race itself features homemade contraptions along various themes, many taking a light-hearted dig at the politics of the day.
Tyres, pallets, rubber rings, wooden constructions — anything goes in this waterborne ‘wacky races’.
This fun family day out is free. But don’t forget the sunblock, a hat and sunglasses.
For more information call Sandys Boat Club at 234-2248 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lift Your Voices, Victoria Park, Hamilton
If you prefer to spend your Sundays on land, this month’s Summer Sundays in the Park features the uplifting sounds of gospel singers.
From 3-8pm. This free family event features fun castles, face painting, food and refreshments, plus a vendor village.
Check the Scene Calendar, every Friday in the Bermuda Sun, for more upcoming events over Cup Match.
Cup Match Companion 2012