Spirits were high as the holiday season kicked off in Hamilton yesterday. Revellers of all ages lined the streets to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus and his helpers as part of the MarketPlace Christmas Parade.
Sharon Peets was taking in the sights with twin granddaughters Ari and Tai Simons, 8.
The Pembroke resident said: “We have been coming for years.”
She said the combination of the floats, the dancers and the Gombeys is what brought the family back year after year.
Ms Peets said the best part was “to see the excitement and the look on the children’s faces”.
Ari said she was excited for the floats and to see her friends take part with their dance troupes. Tai said she was “looking forward to having a good time”.
Both girls said that they were looking forward to spending time with their family for the holiday. Ms Peets said that answer made her “very proud”.
Jason Samuels and wife Cindy, from Warwick, were out with daughter Chloe, 11, and son Silas, 9, and their friends Sophia Ward, 11, and Kyle Valadao, 9.
Chloe said: “It’s tradition to go with our friends every year.
“It’s a lot of fun. There are a lot of bright lights and the dancers are really cool.”
Silas added of the parade: “It makes you happy.”
Amy Da Costa was out with her family, including daughter Carina, 4. Carina said she was excited for the candy, the marching groups and Santa Claus, who she had already asked for some special clothes for Christmas.
Ms Da Costa, from Paget, said it was the third or fourth year she had been to the parade.
She added: “It’s just a fun experience.”
Alfred Emery, of Pembroke, was joined by wife Angela, daughter Arleyne, and granddaughter Nalah Burgess, 5.
Nalah said that she was looking forward to seeing Santa Claus and the dancers — plus the candy. Mr Emery said that the enjoyment of his granddaughter was what brought the family back each holiday. He added: “We do it for her.”
Lionel and JoAnn Paynter, who were camped out along Front Street, said they had been coming to the parade “for ever”.
Ms Paynter said that her niece was taking part in the parade with one of the dance groups.
She added: “I definitely come out to see her perform.”
Ms Paynter said it was the “atmosphere and festivities” that brought them back each year.
She said the holiday season was a good time to get together with family and friends.
Ms Paynter said: “This is a nice way to start it off.”
Participants in the parade included the Lions Clubs of Bermuda, Lotus Ariel Team, Bermuda Long Riders Motorcycle Club, the Association of Filipinos in Bermuda, Blu Kids, the Bermuda Police Service Motorcycle Division, the Bermuda Fire Service and the Royal Bermuda Regiment. The St George’s Dancerettes, DanceSations, In Motion School of Dance, Vasco Folklore Dance Group, Rated E, United Dance Productions and Place’s New Generation Gombeys also took part.
The parade set out from the junction of Church Street and Par-la-Ville Road and headed east along Front Street. It swung north on Court Street, west on Church Street and continued to Wesley Street.