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Hamilton’s streets were lined with people yesterday as spectators revelled in the annual Bermuda Day Parade.

Sidewalks stretching down Front Street, Queen Street and Cedar Avenue were all covered with tents as the sound of music filled the air.

Even the balcony of the visiting Veendam was crowded with spectators as passengers came out to catch a glimpse of the festivities as the Royal Bermuda Regiment Band marched down Front Street. Visitor Peter Adams, from Boston, said he had been told there was going to be a parade but he was surprised to see the turnout.

“I didn’t know Bermuda had this many person,” he said. “The weather is beautiful, and I’m looking forward to seeing the Gombeys.”

Several floats this year embraced the theme of Bermuda’s sporting heroes, with numerous depictions of local athletes. Meanwhile, hundreds of majorettes and Gombeys took to the streets, along with a flood of dancers trailing the Soca VS Reggae float, some in full carnival attire.

The rapidly approaching America’s Cup also had a strong presence at the parade with the Endeavour Programme participants marching along the route and an ACBDA float decorated with replica’s of the six competing team boats.

Among the spectators was Lowdru Robinson, who as the director of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs helped to organise the original Bermuda Day Parade in 1979 with Eddie DeMello, Choy Aming and Dickie Green. Asked how it felt to see the event still going strong almost 40 years later, he said: “It’s amazing. The idea behind the whole thing was to bring people together and it’s quite amazing to see how it has come together.

“I walked around a few days ago and just marvelled at all the signs people had put up to reserve their spots. It shows how important it’s become in the Bermuda community.”

He remarked that the parade has grown significantly from its humble origins, which featured only a single flower float, courtesy of the Vasco da Gama Club, and a carnival section.

The original article can be found here: http://www.royalgazette.com/news/article/20170525/crowds-revel-in-bermuda-day-parade-spectacle

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