Bermuda’s Christmas Boat Parade in Hamilton Harbour drew thousands of spectators last night [Dec.10], making it one of the most-watched events on the island’s 2011 community calendar.
With perfect weather conditions — and an equally good atmosphere — residents were out in full force on both water and land, lining Front Street, Harbour Road and other key vantage points where they could watch the dazzling proceedings.
Video #1 Christmas Boat Parade:
Over 70 vessels made their way across the water, starting from the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel, travelling clockwise around White’s Island.
The training schooner “Spirit of Bermuda” led the parade, which featured both Bermuda- and Christmas-themed light displays including an illuminated Bermuda kite, Charlie Brown, Christmas trees, a moongate, palm trees, reindeer, Santa Claus, a “Star Wars” entry which combined light-sabres with Christmas lights — and even an octopus sporting a Santa hat.
Video #2 Christmas Boat Parade:
“Santa’s Ride” had flames shooting out of the stern, Cablevision’s entry had company CEO Terry Roberson on board while the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences [BIOS] entry featured a sea- themed display with an illuminated turtle, sea horse, and fish.
A Police boat out monitoring the parade for safety reasons had been decorated with lights — and had Santa Claus inside a replica Birdcage aboard pretending to direct the water-borne traffic.
Video #3 Christmas Boat Parade:
Current Bermuda events were even referenced, with one boat flashing lights spelling out “Peace On De Rock”.
With the Christmas lights reflecting on the water, many boats left multi-coloured sheens in their wakes as they circled the harbour. A brilliant fireworks display ended the night on a dazzling note.
The Boat Parade was founded in 1998 by Guatemalan-born Bermuda resident Norma Thomson and continues as a biennial event. This year’s organising committee included Mrs. Thomson, Hamilton businessman Steve Thomson and publisher Ian Coles.
Video #4 Fireworks display:
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