There could be only one way for Bermuda to celebrate the approach to Christmas and that is, of course, on water!
The Bermuda Christmas Boat Parade is an event that comes every two years. One of the island’s biggest spectator events will be held on Saturday, December 10th in Hamilton Harbour, around White’s Island. It was announced by the organiser Norma Thomson that the 2011 edition will be even bigger and better than the previous ones so it is definitely an event not to be missed.
The Bermuda Christmas Boat Parade is a great way to enter the festive season. It is something unique that you will never have seen before – unless you already came to the parade! The whole of the capital’s harbour comes alive with dozens of decorated boats and thousands of people watching and welcoming the festive season.
Everyone can take part in the Bermuda Christmas Boat Parade. This is whether they sail or have power boats, be they small or large, private or commercial, and the entry is free. It is just like the 2009 edition that marked the end of the island’s 400th anniversary celebrations; the 50 first entries receive a $300 Lindo’s Group of Companies gift certificate.
Every boat entered has to be decorated and its crew dressed up, following a particular theme. The only rule is that everyone has fun and anything can be used for the decoration, from lights and music to high-tech props. There are in total more than 25 prizes, some for the best boats in ten of the categories. The Grand Prize is a round trip airline tickets for two to the United States.
The categories are: Best boat overall; Best boat under 25 feet; Best boat over 25 feet; Best sail boat; Best fishing boat; Best commercial boat; Best corporate entry; Best charity or church; Children’s choice award; Best use of lights; Most original; Most humorous; Best Christmas theme; Best crew costumes; Most confusing entry; The cutest entry; Best effort award; Best Bermuda X-mas theme; and Boat that looks the most fun to be aboard. The entries must be completed by the Wednesday, December 7th at noon to be eligible for an award.
The Bermuda Christmas Boat Parade will start from the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel on the 10th of December at 6:30pm. The boats will then travel clockwise around White’s Island. The parade will cross the harbour up to Darrel’s Wharf before going in the inner harbour along Harbour Road. It will then head along the docks and Front Street to end at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess. Boats are expected to travel at about 4mph and a hundred feet from the shoreline.
More than a thousand people took part in the parade; aboard more than 70 boats in the last edition in 2009. There were more than 20,000 were watching the parade, making it the biggest spectator event of Bermuda. There are many vantage points from where to watch the Bermuda Christmas Boat Parade, pretty much anywhere along the waterfront of the harbour. Those who want to have a more general view can go on Cavendish Heights, Bostock Hill and Harbour Road in Paget. You can also book a hotel room or a table at a restaurant along the parade route. The event organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club ends with a fireworks display from the middle of the harbour.
(There are two rain dates for the parade, either Sunday, December 11th or Sunday, December 18th)
Bermuda Christmas Boat Parade 2011 – 10th of December at 6:30pm
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