This year’s Bermuda Day celebrations have been hailed as “picture perfect” in which “our sense of being proud to be Bermudian was palpable”.

Providing a summary of Monday’s races and parade, Community Affairs Minister Wayne Scott said in the House of Assembly that the efforts of everyone involved made the day “a most electrifying and memorable occasion enjoyed by locals as well as our guests”.

According to Mr Scott, almost 1,300 athletes took to the roads in the day’s three official races — 76 cyclists competing in the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race, 1,115 runners taking part in the Bermuda Half Marathon Derby and a further 91 competitors in the Heritage Day Junior Classic race.

“Our long-standing tradition is that Bermuda Day is the ‘unofficial’ beginning of summer, a day when Bermudians wake at the crack of dawn on a holiday to either participate in, or line the streets from Somerset to Bernard’s Park to watch and cheer on participants in the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Race, the Appleby Bermuda Half Marathon Derby and the Heritage Day Classic Junior Race before settling at their chosen spot to view the start of the long-awaited Bermuda Day Heritage Parade,” Mr Scott said.

“This year’s annual Bermuda Day Heritage Parade wound its way through the spectator-lined streets of our city and was enjoyed by thousands of people on what could only be considered a ‘picture perfect’ day.

“This year’s Heritage Month theme Bermuda’s Historical Treasures was an excellent one that succinctly captured our department’s emphasis on our history and culture.

“It also allowed people the freedom to conceptualize, design and create such absolutely beautiful floats on various aspects of our shared cultural heritage. All of the floats could be considered works of art and they therefore made the judges’ work that much more challenging.

“I am grateful to all persons who worked long hours, often into the wee hours of the morning, to produce such stunning floats. I was pleased to note the level of detail, intricacy of design and the use of foliage and other natural products. The creativity and artistry were outstanding. Thanks to all of the float designers and builders. I also extend my gratitude to our wonderful judges for their work; their task was not easy.

“The pulsating rhythms of the Gombey troupes, the spectacular performances of the majorettes and other dance groups and the revelry of the Carnival dancers all combined to make the 2014 Bermuda Day Parade a most electrifying and memorable occasion enjoyed by locals as well as our guests. Our sense of being proud to be Bermudian was palpable.

“It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. How true. Throughout Bermuda, one digital image flooded cyberspace soon after the parade ended, and captured the essence and spirit of Bermuda Day 2014. It was the scene of thousands of people dancing along Front Street from the Flagpole and as far back as the eye could see. Absolutely awesome. What a scene. What exuberance. Bermudians coming together to celebrate who we are as a people. Thank you Bermuda.”

Royal Gazette