Bermuda’s Festivals and Events: July to December

Though the summer is generally prime festival season, don’t expect things to slow to a crawl in the latter part of the year. Outdoor sports and competitions continue on year-round, as do many of Bermuda’s heritage events.

July

Harbour Nights: Evening street festivals in the City of Hamilton (7pm-10pm Wed.), St. George’s Market Nights (7pm-10pm Tues.), and Heritage Nights in Dockyard (6:30pm-9pm Thurs.) run through the month (www.cityhall.bm).

Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Races: Traditional dinghies continue their summerlong Sunday afternoon series at harbors throughout the island.

Canada Day: Canadians gather at Long Bay, Southampton, on July 1 for barbecues, games, and music to mark Canada’s birthday.

Bermuda Big Game Classic: A three-day, big-fish team event in mid-July offers cash and prizes, including a top prize to the largest blue marlin catch.

August

Harbour Nights: Evening street festivals in the City of Hamilton (7pm-10pm Wed.), St. George’s Market Nights (7pm-10pm Tues.), and Heritage Nights in Dockyard (6:30pm-9pm Thurs.) run through the month (www.cityhall.bm).

Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Races: Sunday afternoon races at various harbors around the island continue throughout August.

Beachfest is an all-day beach party organized by the Chewstick Foundation to celebrate Emancipation Day on the last Thursday of July—the start of the island’s biggest public holiday, Cup Match. It’s an all-day party on Bermuda’s most popular beach, Horseshoe Bay, Southampton.

Cup Match (Emancipation Day and Somers Day): This two-day holiday honoring both the abolition of local slavery and Bermuda’s founder, Sir George Somers, stages a historic showdown between St. George’s and Somerset Cricket Clubs, complete with islandwide campouts, boating, and parties galore.

Bermuda Sand Sculpture Competition: Grownups and kids can get creative and win prizes at this daylong creative contest of hand-crafted architecture at Horseshoe Bay in Southampton, organized by the Bermuda government (tel. 441/295-4597 or 441/295-0855, 10am-4pm). Prizes for locals and visitors.

September

Harbour Nights: Evening street festivals in the City of Hamilton (7pm-10pm Wed.), St. George’s Market Nights (7pm-10pm Tues.), and Heritage Nights in Dockyard (6:30pm-9pm Thurs.) run through the month (www.bermudachamber.bm).

Labor Day March and Celebration: Participants including gombeys and majorettes march to Bernard Park in Hamilton for a daylong festival honoring Bermuda’s labor movement and organized by the Bermuda Industrial Union (tel. 441/292-0044).

Gombey dancers perform at the daylong festival honoring Bermuda’s labor movement.

Gombey dancers perform at the daylong festival honoring Bermuda’s labor movement. Photo © kansasphoto, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

October

TEDxBermuda: Promoting “ideas worth spreading,” an annual slate of international and local speakers follow the world-popular TEDTalks format that celebrates cutting-edge concepts in technology, entertainment, and design. Launched in 2011, the independently organized event is held at the Fairmont Southampton and attracts an audience of about 1,000 for the five-hour Saturday afternoon mindfest.

Argo Group Gold Cup: This international event brings the world’s top yacht match-racing competitors to vie in a showdown of spinnakers for the sport’s oldest trophy, the King Edward VII Gold Cup, in Hamilton Harbour and the Great Sound.

Zobec Round the Sound Long-Distance Swimathon: Open-water swimmers compete in 10K, 7.25K, 4K, 2K, and 0.8K swims in scenic Harrington Sound, Flatts (tel. 441/236-9586).

November

Queen of Bermuda Triathlon: Launched in 2014, this event attracts local and visiting women, from elites to novices, to compete as individuals or teams in a sprint triathlon comprising an 800-meter swim, 20K ride, and 5K run along the scenic South Shore, as well as a duathlon (1-mile run, 20K bike, 5K run).

World Rugby Classic: International former top rugby players compete in 11 matches in this highly popular weeklong event held at the Bermuda National Sports Centre in Devonshire (tel. 441/295-6574).

Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremony: The Bermuda Regiment and Band Company join war veterans in a solemn march down Front Street in the City of Hamilton on November 11, a public holiday.

December

Bermuda Goodwill Golf Tournament: The island’s top four golf clubs team up to host this event, which brings golfers from the United States, Canada, and the U.K., with teams made up of one professional and three amateurs.

Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout: This festive evening street festival takes place the first Friday in December in the Town of St. George. Crowds flock to mingle with friends, sip hot cider, and listen to strolling carolers.

Christmas Boat Parade: Head to Hamilton Harbour to see beautiful illuminated boats of all sorts vie for prizes as they loop the waterfront.

Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society Pantomime: An annual treat for children, the annual BMDS pantomime at Hamilton’s City Hall and Arts Centre features the island’s amateur actors in a British-style theatrical extravaganza.

New Year’s Eve Festival: Revelers ring in the new year at King’s Square, St. George’s, where live music and a street-festival atmosphere climax with fireworks and the dropping of a giant disco ball-style onion.


Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of Moon Bermuda.

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