Festivals and Events
Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts: This six-week evening festival running from mid-January through the end of February brings international dance, drama, comedy, music, and even circus performers to City Hall and Arts Centre, Hamilton, and the Ruth Seaton James Centre for the Performing Arts, Devonshire (www.bermudafestival.org).
Bermuda International Race Weekend: Hundreds of locals and visitors take part in this mid-January weekend’s quartet of events: an international marathon, half-marathon, 10K run and charity walk, and an invitational mile. The 10K starts and finishes at Devonshire’s National Sports Centre; all other events take place on Front Street, Hamilton (tel. 441/296-0951 or 441/236-6086, btfa [at] logic [dot] bm, www.bermudaraceweekend.com, www.bermudatracknfield.com).
Bermuda Regional Bridge Tournament: More than 200 players fly in for this prestigious seven-day test of bridge skill, hosted by the Bermuda Bridge Federation and held in the last week of January at the Fairmont Southampton Hotel (tel. 441/293-5432, dleitch [at] ibl [dot] bm, www.bermudaregional.com).
Zoom Around the Sound: This 7.2-mile circular walking, running, bicycling, and inline skating race is held mid-month and travels around Harrington Sound to raise money for the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo (www.bamz.org).
Bermuda International Film Festival: Award-winning films from around the world are screened at island cinemas for 10 days starting mid-month, along with celebrity appearances and filmmaking workshops. Tickets can be purchased online or from the BIFF box office in Hamilton (www.biff.bm).
Good Friday Kite Festival: Kite-flying contests, fishcakes, gombeys, face-painting, bouncy castles, and tug-of-war make for traditional island fun the Friday before Easter at Horseshoe Bay, Southampton (www.ubp.bm).
Bermuda Annual Exhibition: Held at the Botanical Gardens in Paget during the last week of April, this three-day cultural and agricultural showcase, featuring equestrian events, acrobats, and school displays, has become a beloved institution (tel. 441/239-2351, fax 441/236-4182, exhibition [at] logic [dot] bm, www.bdaexhibition.bm).
Open Houses and Gardens: The Bermuda Garden Club’s open-house tour is held every Wednesday afternoon for four weeks in a row during April and May, allowing a rare inside look at some of the island’s most impressive properties (tel. 441/236-7321).
Open Houses and Gardens: The Bermuda Garden Club’s Wednesday afternoon open-house tour continues through May (tel. 441/236-7321).
Bermuda Day Parade: Enjoy Bermuda’s daylong version of Caribbean Carnival, held throughout the City of Hamilton on May 24, with highlights being a historic half-marathon and an all-out parade of floats, dancers, and marching bands. Bermuda Day also marks the official first day of summer boating and swimming for Bermudians.
Harbour Nights: The summer-long Wednesday night street festival, featuring fun, food, crafts, and late-night shopping on Front Street in the City of Hamilton, begins in May and runs through September. Similar festivals are held Tuesday nights in the Town of St. George and Dockyard (www.bermudachamber.bm).
Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Races: Traditional dinghies vie for weekly honors throughout the summer. Races take place every Sunday afternoon in St. George’s Harbour, Mangrove Bay, and Granaway Deep (www.rhadc.com).
Newport–Bermuda Race/Marion–Bermuda Ocean Race: The Newport Race, a premier blue water sailing contest from Newport, Rhode Island, to St. David’s, marked its 100th anniversary in 2006 (www.rbyc.bm, www.bermudarace.com). The Marion Race, from Buzzard Bay, Massachusetts, to St. David’s, is for amateur cruising yachts (www.rhadc.com, www.marionbermuda.com). Run in alternate years, both races bring hundreds of competitors to the island.
Queen’s Birthday Parade: A gun salute kicks off the Bermuda Regiment Band and Corps of Drums’ march down Front Street in the City of Hamilton in mid-June, a public holiday in tribute to Queen Elizabeth.
Harbour Nights: Celebrations in the City of Hamilton (Wed.), St. George’s Market Nights (Tues.), and Destination Dockyard evening festivals (Tues.) offer family fun through the month (www.bermudachamber.bm).
Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Races: Traditional dinghies continue their summer-long Sunday afternoon series at harbors throughout the island (www.rhadc.com).
Bermuda Big Game Classic: A three-day, big-fish team event in mid-July offers cash and prizes, including a top prize to the largest blue marlin catch (www.bermudabig gameclassic.com).
Harbour Nights: Family-friendly celebrations in the City of Hamilton (Wed.), St. George’s Market Nights (Tues.), and Destination Dockyard evening festivals (Tues.) continue through the month (www.bermudachamber.bm).
Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Races: Sunday afternoon races at various harbors around the island continue throughout August (www.rhadc.com).
Cup Match Cricket Festival (Emancipation Day and Somers Day): This two-day holiday honoring both the abolition of local slavery and Bermuda’s founder, Sir George Somers, stages a historic showdown between East and West End cricket clubs, complete with islandwide campouts, boating, and parties galore.
Sandtastic: Grownups and kids can get creative and win prizes at this friendly five-day festival of hand-crafted architecture at Horseshoe Bay in Southampton, organized by the Department of Tourism and featuring the world-class talents of American maestros Team Sandtastic (www.teamsandtastic.com).
Harbour Nights: Celebrations in Hamilton, St. George’s Market Nights, and Destination Dockyard weekly festivals continue through September as the summer season ends and the cruise ship season winds down (www.bermudachamber.bm).
Labor Day March and Celebration: Participants including gombeys and majorettes march to Bernard Park in Hamilton for a daylong festival honoring Bermuda’s labor movement and organized by the Bermuda Industrial Union (tel. 441/292-0044).
PGA Grand Slam of Golf: After two years at Mid Ocean Club, this world-class event, televised worldwide via TNT, stayed in Bermuda but was to move to the renovated Port Royal Golf Course for 2009 and 2010. The major championship is a season-ending showdown between the game’s top foursome (www.pga.com/grandslam).
Bermuda Music Festival: Three nights of performances by top international artists performing at the National Sports Centre, in Devonshire, draws thousands of visitors and residents (www.bermudamusicfestival.com).
King Edward VII Gold Cup (www.bermudagoldcup.com) brings some of the world’s top match-race skippers and crews to the island for a five-day showdown in Hamilton Harbour and the Great Sound. It is a World Match Racing Tour event (www.worldmatchracingtour.com).
BIFF Kids Film Festival: A kids’ version of Bermuda’s popular annual film showcase, this mid-month weekend event screens child-friendly flicks from around the world, including cartoons, shorts, and documentaries, at various cinema venues in Hamilton (www.biff.bm).
Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremony: The Bermuda Regiment and Band join war veterans in a solemn march down Front Street in the City of Hamilton on November 11, a public holiday.
Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout: This festive evening street festival takes place the first Friday in December in the Town of St. George. Crowds flock to mingle with friends, sip hot cider, and listen to strolling carolers (www.bnt.bm).
Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society Pantomime: An annual treat for children, the annual BMDS pantomime at Hamilton’s City Hall & Arts Centre features the island’s amateur actors in a British-style theatrical extravaganza (www.bmds.bm).
New Year’s Eve Festival: Revelers ring in the new year at King’s Square, St. George’s, where live music and a street-festival atmosphere climax with fireworks and the dropping of a giant disco ball–style onion.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition