If you’re planning a trip to Bermuda  near the end of April, don’t miss the Bermuda Annual Exhibition (Botanical Gardens , 169 South Shore Rd., tel. 441/236-5902 ext. 2351, fax 441/236-4812, agshow [at] ibl [dot] bm or exhibition [at] logic [dot] bm, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., $7 adults, $3 seniors and children 5–15, kids under 5 free), a truly local event that is one of the highlights on Bermudians’ social calendars.
For decades it was purely an agricultural competition, but the beloved “Ag Show” got a new name and makeover in the past few years, evolving into a broader cultural celebration showcasing island traditions like kite-making and cedar craftsmanship, as well as horticulture, culinary arts, and sports. Entrants compete for prizes for the best artwork, cakes, roses, and vegetable critters, to name a few. Real animals—farmyard pigs, cattle, harness ponies, pet rabbits—are highlights for children, and a foreign troupe of clowns or acrobats is usually invited to perform.
The three-day Bermuda Annual Exhibition also offers a sampling of food stalls selling cotton candy, fish sandwiches, fruit kabobs, and other favorites. Everyone from politicians and the Governor to buses of grandmothers and society rose-growers comes out to support what has become a true island institution.
For the Bermuda Annual Exhibition at its best, go on Thursday (schoolchildren get a day off class to attend on Friday, and Saturday is a complete zoo).