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‘Viewing village’ for Christmas Boat Parade

  • The Christmas Boat Parade in Hamilton (File photograph)

A special “viewing village” is to be set up for this weekend’s Christmas Boat Parade in Hamilton Harbour.

The City of Hamilton, which has taken over the organisation of the event, said it was pleased to bring “a family-friendly atmosphere to the evening” and that other entertainment, including a Kids’ Zone, would be on offer.

JetPack Invasion, who use hydrofliers, lights and music to put on spectacular shows, will also perform at the event.

Hamilton mayor Charles Gosling said: “This is one of the most highly anticipated social events in Bermuda, held at such a festive time of year.”

He added: “I encourage everyone to come out and support the participating captains and their crews and the numerous vendors that will partake in the evening’s festivities.

“It’s such a special time of year and this holiday event is a community-driven one so I applaud all those boats taking part and look forward to wearing my judge’s hat.

“My special thanks to the city’s events team that has taken up the reins of the organisation of the parade — a first-rate event for our local community and visitors with the continued support of the event sponsors.’

The special vantage point will be set up in the No 1 Car Park on Front Street.

Steve Thomson, spokesman for the Bermuda Boat Parade Charity, which founded the event, added: “We are thrilled that after a three-year absence the Bermuda Christmas Boat Parade has returned and will, by all accounts, be bigger and better than ever.

“With the support and guidance of the City of Hamilton, and, of course, the numerous sponsors, the event this Saturday should be a wonderful success.”

The special vantage point for the boat parade, which will start at about 6.30pm on Saturday, will be at No 1 Car Park on Front Street.

Bleachers will be set up in the car park and food and other goods will be available for sale.

People can also watch the parade from Albuoy’s Point to Number 5 car park, opposite Flanagan’s Irish bar.

A city spokeswoman said that, as seating will be limited, people were welcome to bring their own chairs.

Renée Bullock-Cann, head of retail banking wealth management for lead event sponsor HSBC, added: “Bermuda may not be the only country to hold a boat parade, but we happen to think that ours is unique in that it represents all that is great about the island and our culture.

“I know I speak for my colleagues at HSBC in saying that we are proud to be the lead sponsor of this event and are all looking forward to seeing what the boat parade entrants have in store for the community this year.

“An incredible amount of work and creativity goes into each and every boat on display and we hope that as many people as possible will come out and enjoy what is going to be an exciting and beautiful event, complete with HSBC employees adding to the fun in the streets of Hamilton.”

Road restrictions will be in force for the free event.

Police said that Harbour Road would be a single one-way lane heading east into Hamilton between 6pm and 9pm to allow for parking on the west side of the road.

They warned that people attending house parties that take advantage of the Harbour Road parking must not block private access driveways and must remove their cars by 9pm when the westbound lane reopens.

Sponsors for the parade include Chubb, the Oil Group of Companies, insurance firm Colonial, Hamilton Princess & Beach Club and The Royal Gazette.

Supporting sponsors include Phoenix Stores, Masters, Gorham’s, Rubis, Barritts, Butterfield & Vallis, Elbow Beach Hotel, Fairmont Southampton, Bacardi, Little Venice Group, the MarketPlace and The Reefs hotel.

To view the City of Hamilton traffic notice and more particulars about the Christmas Boat Parade, click on the PDF links under “Related Media”