FRIDAY, MAY 18: Colourful floats, majorettes and Gombeys — Hamilton will come alive on Thursday in the Heritage Day Parade.
People will pack the streets of Hamilton — some even marking out their spots with chairs and chalk the night before — as we celebrate Bermuda’s history and culture.
This year’s theme is ‘Celebrating Hospitality Through the Ages’ and the spectacle will also be attended by thousands of tourists, eager to see one of the highlights of our calendar year.
The parade starts at 1:30pm by Bernard Park and will wind its way through Hamilton’s streets, ending at City Hall.
Louise Tannock, cultural affairs programme manager, said: “This year’s hospitality theme means creativity for people is very wide open.
“They could choose to feature the beaches or our own houses, it’s anything we treasure about Bermuda.
“We will be looking at ourselves and drawing appreciation to the service industry which has brought us so far through the years.
“We are hoping people will also grow a greater appreciation for the hospitality industry and will make sure it sustains us in the future.
“We are a gracious and charming people and if only we can keep practising this, not only will it help us in our own country with our own people but it will help us to attract other visitors to Bermuda.”
Heritage Day, or Bermuda Day, is also seen as the start of summer and is traditionally the day when Bermudians take their first dip in the ocean.
The beaches will be busy with bathers, while other islanders will enjoy a barbecue with family and friends.
If you are looking for something tasty to sizzle, Wadson’s Farm in Southampton is holding a meat and poultry sale, with 20 per cent off its produce. This includes pasture-raised chicken, pork, turkey and duck.
Elsewhere on the island, you can enjoy the thrills and spills of the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Race.
Dating back to the 1880s, this year’s race takes place in St George’s Harbour from 10:30am-3pm.
Some islanders may also head overseas to make the most of the long weekend.
But in these tough economic times, many are opting to stay home this year. Kim Darrell, general manager of Meyer-Franklin Travel, said: “We’ve had some callers for New York, Huntsville (Alabama) and Halifax (Nova Scotia) but I think most people are staying here in Bermuda to enjoy the day’s activities.
“This year there has not been a great influx of people looking to go away for that long weekend.”
Whatever you are doing on Bermuda Day please remember to apply sunscreen, wear a hat and drink plenty of water.