Photo Set #1: 2013 Bermuda Day Parade

May 24, 2013

Jubilant spectators couldn’t get enough of the Bermuda Day Parade as thousands of people jammed Hamilton today [May 24] to cheer on the colourful procession of floats, majorettes and Gombey dancers that wound through the streets of the city for more than four hours.

Bermuda Day Parade, May 24 2013-14

The climax of the island’s Heritage Month programme, crowds three- and four-deep in places lined the Bermuda Day parade route which started at Bernard Park, moved along Dutton Avenue and on to Marsh Folly Road.

It continued to the top of Cedar Avenue, made a left turn on to Church Street, followed by a right turn on to Court Street.

The parade then moved along Front Street and passed a reviewing stand where dignitaries including Governor George Fergusson and Premier Craig Cannonier watched the procession, with the Premier getting up and showing off some dance moves.

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The parade then headed up Queen Street and into the City Hall car park, while excited spectators stood, sat in lawn chairs and even looked on from beneath tents they had temporarily erected on the city’s sidewalks as entrants in the festive parade made their way through the city.

Fold-out tables set up by some onlookers groaned under the weight of lavish picnic spreads and the aroma of favourite Bermuda delicacies filled the streets.

Earlier in the day Tyler Butterfield thrilled road racing fans as he coasted to victory in the 13-mile Appleby Bermuda Day Half Marathon, while Rose-Anna Hoey was the first woman across the Bernard Park finish line.

Bermuda Day Parade, May 24 2013-20

And Dominique Mayho and Karen Smith took top honours in the fast and furious bicycle sprint from Somerset to Hamilton along the Half-Marathon route.

Their wins weren’t the only thing to celebrate, as Bermudians got to witness some impromptu romance when Thomas Smith crossed the finish line and promptly got down on his knee and proposed to his girlfriend Elizabeth Simmons. A thrilled Ms Simmons said yes, and Mr Smith slid the ring — which he had carried from Somerset — on her finger and the crowd cheered.


Bermuda Day had its origins in Empire Day, first celebrated in Canada in 1898 to mark Queen Victoria’s birthday.

The holiday was later introduced in the United Kingdom in 1904 and then spread to other countries in the British Empire including Bermuda.

2013 May 24th Parade Bermuda (3)

Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day in 1958 and became Bermuda Day in 1979 as a result of a recommendation by the Pitt Commission which investigated the 1977 Bermuda riots.

Commission chairman Lord Pitt interviewed many Bermudians who suggested the island should organise an annual event to bring the people of Bermuda together in harmony and rebuild a stronger sense of civic pride.

It was decided a parade would provide a focus for camaraderie and celebration and help Bermudians grow in respect and appreciation for one another.

Today Bermuda Day has become the culminating point of Heritage Month and has grown in importance to become the island’s most celebrated holiday other than Cup Match. You can view all our coverage of today’s holiday here.

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Category: All, Community, News, Parades, Photos

Comments (10)

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  1. Mayan says:

    Every year I swear I won’t go to the parade but then I drag my azz there like I’m going to miss something, and then get pissed I wasted my time when I could have watched it at home in my air conditioning.

    Can somebody PLEASE do something about the delays? I’m tired of explaining to tourists that ‘no’, the parade is not over…then we sit there and you can practically hear crickets chirping because nothing is happening. The delays this year were beyond ridiculous! It’s embarrassing to have visitors see that. There was over a half-hour gap between participants in the beginning.

    Thankfully, the town crier came through and made jokes about the delays so at least the visitors got a laugh over that but we can do better. I don’t understand the problem. I know majorettes stop and perform and all that but there’s still no reason for such lengthy delays!

    • swing voter says:

      Large gaps in the ‘entertainment’ has been accepted by most people as part of our cultural package. can’t please everyone….which is why I choose to watch highlights on TV. Although most of us have watched parades, carnivals, and even political demonstrations in other countries being executed without a hiccup, I Still can’t believe that a 6hr parade with up to 10 minute intervals between entrants can’t be fixed. Maybe we’re genetically wired for ‘Bermuda Time’

  2. tell the truth says:

    wha is Sad about the Parade is that it is So much build up for it and it doesnot live up to it, we as a people here Lack Creative Energy,,It is So Boring I would rather stay home with my lover or my love ones..will not go next year,,

  3. Deliverance says:

    How come only 2% of the parade participants are smiling? I tell you what, I wouldn’t want to spend my day off marching around town.

  4. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    it was Pathetic!

  5. Keeping it real says:

    To all bloggers who think the gaps where the highlight of your day and you feel the need to simply stay home next year….do that…these performers spend countless hours preparing for this Bda Parade and to read ya stupid comments is utterly ridiculous!!!! Understand that the gaps come from when marshals simply give direction to stop and then tell the participants to proceed….they do a good job for the most part the best they can under the circumstances!!! To all the participants WELL DONE YET AGAIN!!!! I’d like to see these critics go out there and smile the whole parade it’s not easy!!! These participants are keeping our heritage alive whilst you critics keep looking for the stupidest things to complain about! The group in the orange and lime with stars on front had alot of girls smiling and were the highlight of the parade!!! If the parade was smooth sailing you would say it went by to fast and you couldn’t enjoy it. So just shut up and next year just watch it from home!!!! Get ya monies worth outta ya WOW n cable bill for the friggin day!!! I am simply sick n tired of negative comments here!!! I’m sure participants feel the same way!!!!! Once again to all the participants in this past Bermuda Day Parade! Without you there is no Bermuda day parade!!!!

    • I am with you on your comment, to all those that want to grumble they should stay the hell home & I bet you they never participated in the parade in their life. they need to get a lift & stay home. bunch of c#%ts. & the stars looked very nice as always. I always enjoy the parade & will continue to go rain blow or shine. no time 4 small minded bermudians yes the Devonshire Stars is my oldest childs group & she has been doing a DAM GREAT JOB & WILL CONTINUE TO AS LONG AS SHE CAN SO GO ON WITH YOUR NAGATIVE COMMENTS. NEXT YEAR STAY HOME & DONT MARK YOUR SPOT, LOL GET A LIFE, THATS ONE THING YOU WONT BE A DAM MISS. GROW UP & SHUT UP.

  6. pilot011 says:

    Everyone seemed so sad in the parade this year, was weird.

    • Jen says: