Buskers & Vendors Wanted For East End Events

April 12, 2017

This summer will see a raft of events take place in Bermuda, and although the America’s Cup action is mostly happening in the West End, the town of St George’s will be hosting several cruise ships and a portion of the Tall Ships Regatta.

Cultural Tourism Manager for St. George’s Kristin White is organizing many receptions and events and says that they are welcoming vendors and buskers.

“We are really excited about Cocktails and Cannons, which will be held whenever a cruise ship overnights in St. George’s,” she said.

“It’s a sunset happy hour reception hosted at amazing Fort St. Catherine featuring tours, a special reenactment and cannon firing, and craft cocktails provided by Twisted Spoon Cocktail Co, which will highlight local ingredients.

There are limited vending spaces available for this event, and Ms. White said, “Originally, we hadn’t considered vendors, but we think it would be a great addition to this event, and are specially seeking those who sell locally made or Bermuda-inspired items, as well as any America’s Cup items.”

Bermuda will welcome the Tall Ships this year for the first time since 2009, and although the City of Hamilton is the official host port, the ships will gather in St. George’s first.

“The ships will begin arriving in the town on May 26, and will all be here by May 31, before they head to Hamilton on June 1. We are now expecting about 20 ships and over 1000 sailing crewmembers, and although we aren’t required to put on any activities, since we are not the official host, we wanted to make sure they have a great time in St. George’s too!”

To that end, the town will host activities each day, including the special annual Art Walk event and a Sunset Festival.

Ms. White said, “Artist Ami Zanders created and ran the Art Walk so amazingly for many years, and it has become one of St. George’s most celebrated events, so it only made sense to schedule it for during the Tall Ships events.

“We are embracing a nautical theme, and the Art Walk committee is working hard to ensure the entertainment, artist installations, stores and museums create a cool and fun event. We want to invite vendors to join!”

As Ms. White explained, the Tall Ships will be arriving throughout that week, but all are required to be in St. George’s by May 31, so on that night, she is organizing the official ‘Welcome to Bermuda’ festival, happening at Penno’s Wharf just outside the World Heritage Centre.

“A few years ago I attended the Sunset Festival in Mallory Square in Key West, where the entertainment highlights are buskers. They have jugglers, magicians, escape artists, musicians, stilt walkers – you name it. I’ve always felt that the energy of this event could be replicated in St. George’s, so this is my inspiration for the festival.

“Penno’s Wharf is right on the St. George’s harbour, so with this beautiful backdrop, we invite buskers of all sorts to perform. In keeping with The Corporation of St. George’s recent announcement, there is NO FEE to busk in the Town, so this event will follow suit and allow buskers at this event for free.

Vendors are also welcome to apply for this event, although there are limited spaces. The applications for Art Walk and the Tall Ships festival list vending and busking categories of Bermuda Souvenirs, Kids Zone, Food and Snack Vendors, Henna and Face Painting, Balloon Animals, Caricaturists, Magicians, Musicians, Artists/Artisans, Photo Booth, Fair or Carnival Game, Dancers/Gymnasts and Fortune Tellers. The fees associated with vending range from $25-50.

In discussing the funding for these events, Ms White said, “This is such an exciting year yet we still don’t have loads of resources in St. George’s. So we were over the moon to receive funding from the Bermuda Tourism Authority for our cultural and community events.

“Recently the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs also came on as a sponsor. We are still seeking sponsorship, but are moving ahead with planning and will execute these events on a shoe-strong budget if we have to.”

Ms. White made mention that both the Corporation of St. George and the Bermuda Tourism Authority have been leading the way in ensuring the parish is ready to receive visitors, even engaging in collaborative strategic planning and brainstorming for revamping public spaces.

She concludes, “Hub 1 [St. George’s and St. David’s] continues to grow leaps and bounds and the entire parish is working so hard to ensure we have a great visitor season.

“In addition to special events, there are daily activities throughout the town including tours of all sorts, reenactments, art demonstrations, and more… we will soon have better maps and signage and increased and consistent transport around the parish. This is going to be a monumental season for us… and we will be ready. We welcome others to get involved.”

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