In true Bermudian style, the island is awash with events and festivals all year round. Don’t assume this means every event is an excuse for a party; Bermuda is very much about enjoying your here and now whatever it might be, whether that’s taking part in a race, parade, or tournament, taking a stroll through beautiful gardens, celebrating heritage, or simply finding a reason to engage in your community.

Close up view of a Bermudan homemade kite.

Flying homemade kites is a Good Friday tradition. Photo © Rosemary Jones.

January

Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts: This six-week evening festival running from mid-January through the end of February brings international dance, drama, comedy, music, and even circus performers to City Hall and Arts Centre, Hamilton, and the Ruth Seaton James Centre for the Performing Arts, Devonshire.

Bermuda Marathon Weekend: Hundreds of locals and visitors take part in this mid-January weekend’s quartet of events: an international marathon, half-marathon, 10K run and charity walk, and an invitational mile. The 10K starts and finishes at Devonshire’s Bermuda National Sports Centre; all other events take place on Front Street, Hamilton (tel. 441/296-0951 or 441/236-6086, www.bnaa.bm).

Bermuda Regional Bridge Tournament: More than 200 players fly in for this prestigious seven-day test of bridge skill, hosted by the Bermuda Bridge Federation and held in the last week of January at the Fairmont Southampton Resort (tel. 441/293-5432).

February

Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts: The festival continues through another month in the City of Hamilton and Devonshire.

March

Zoom Around the Sound: Organized by the Bermuda Zoological Society, this 7.2-mile walking, running, and bicycling loop race is held mid-month and travels around Harrington Sound to raise money for the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo.

Bermuda International Film Festival: Award-winning films from around the world are screened at island cinemas for 10 days starting mid-month, along with celebrity appearances and filmmaking workshops. Tickets can be purchased online or from the BIFF box office in Hamilton.

April

Bermuda Kite Festival: Kite-flying contests, fish cakes, gombeys, face-painting, bouncy castles, and tug-of-war make for traditional island fun the Friday before Easter at Horseshoe Bay, Southampton.

Bermuda Annual Exhibition: Held at Bermuda Botanical Gardens in Paget during the last week of April, this three-day cultural and agricultural showcase, featuring equestrian events, acrobats, and school displays, has become a beloved institution (tel. 441/239-2351, fax 441/236-4182).

Open Houses and Gardens: The Garden Club of Bermuda’s open-house tour is held every Wednesday afternoon for four weeks in a row during April and May, allowing a rare inside look at some of the island’s most impressive properties (tel. 441/236-7321).

May

Open Houses and Gardens: The Garden Club of Bermuda’s Wednesday afternoon open-house tour continues through May (tel. 441/236-7321).

Bermuda Day Parade: Enjoy Bermuda’s daylong version of Caribbean Carnival, held throughout the City of Hamilton on May 24, with highlights being a historical half-marathon and an all-out parade of floats, dancers, and marching bands. Bermuda Day also marks the official first day of summer boating for Bermudians.

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 May and June (www.cityhall.bm).

Bermuda Fitted Dinghy Races: Traditional dinghies vie for weekly honors throughout the summer. Races take place every Sunday afternoon in St. George’s Harbour, Mangrove Bay, and Granaway Deep.

Bermuda International Invitational Race Week: Five classes of boats—J105, J24, Lasers, Etchells and International One Designs (IODs)—race for honors in this hotly-contested regatta organized by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and pitting visiting sailors against local counterparts in the Great Sound.

June

Newport Bermuda Race/Marion Bermuda Race: The Newport Bermuda Race, a 107-year-old blue-water sailing contest from Newport, Rhode Island, to St. David’s, brings a fleet of maxi-yachts to Hamilton and St. George’s Harbours (www.rbyc.bm). The Marion Bermuda Race, from Buzzard Bay, Massachusetts, to St. David’s is for amateur cruising yachts (www.rhadc.bm). Run in alternate years, both races bring hundreds of competitors to the island.

National Heroes Day: Different Bermudians who have made history are selected to be honored in this public holiday’s parades and tributes.

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).


Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of Moon Bermuda.