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Bermuda is a year-round destination with an active events calendar, so we've highlighted the top annual offerings. For more options, consult Bermuda Tourism (800/237-6832 www.bermudatourism.com). Local publications are another reliable resource. The free widely distributed tourist magazine Bermuda.com provides a monthly overview; while the island's newspaper, the Bermuda Sun (www.bermudasun.org), publishes a weekly calendar each Friday. Events are also listed on the paper's Web site. Further info can be found online at www.thisweekinbermuda.bm and www.bermuda.com. Entertainment Web sites BlackandCoke.com and Bermynet.com offer visitors a glimpse of Bermuda's night, sporting, and cultural life.
Bermuda Goodwill Tournament. Foursomes made up of professional and amateur golfers swing into action during the Bermuda Goodwill Tournament. First held in 1922, it's the world's oldest pro-am competition and spectators are invited to watch the event for free. 441/295–4640. www.bermudagoodwill.org.
Festival of Light Competition. Starting early in the month, Christmas bulbs adorn local buildings (including the towering Gibb's Hill Lighthouse) and driving around to see the illuminating displays is a favorite holiday pastime. It's all part of the Festival of Light Competition, sponsored in part by the Bermuda Electric Light Co. 441/295–5111. www.belco.bm.
Christmas Boat Parade. Every other year the Christmas Boat Parade sees decorated vessels of every size and description float through Hamilton Harbour. The event, which can draw 20,000 spectators, usually takes place on the second Saturday of the month and is topped off by festive fireworks. The event will take place in 2013 and following odd years. www.bermudaboatparade.bm.
Hamilton Jaycees Santa Claus Parade. Father Christmas visits Front Street in the Hamilton Jaycees Santa Claus Parade, usually held the first Sunday in December. Santa is accompanied by marching bands, majorettes, and floats. He forgoes his sled, and instead rides high in a red fire truck while others in the parade toss candy to children in the crowd.
Annual Christmas Walkabout in St. George's. The Annual Christmas Walkabout in St. George's is an early-evening event hosted by the Bermuda National Trust. Properties specially decked out for the holiday season open their doors to the public. Choir concerts, Christmas-theme readings, and eggnog sipping are also on the agenda. 441/236–6483. www.bnt.bm.
Boxing Day. Following Commonwealth tradition, Bermuda makes December 26 a public holiday: Boxing Day. Pugilists need not apply, but many other sporting activities—like harness racing and cycling competitions—are scheduled, and Gombey troupes mark the day by dancing in the streets.
Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts. For more than 30 years the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts, the largest of its kind on the island, has featured international artistes. Plays, ballets, chamber orchestras, and jazz jams are staged over two months at the City Hall Theatre and other venues. Lunchtime concerts, book readings, and crafts workshops are also not to be missed. 441/295–1291. www.bermudafestival.org.
Bermuda International Race Weekend. On your mark! Bermuda International Race Weekend kicks off the third weekend of the month. The event begins Friday night with the Front Street Mile. It also includes a marathon, half-marathon, and a 10k (6.2-mi) charity walk. Top runners participate, but most races are open to all. 441/296-0951. www.bermudaraceweekend.com.
Bermuda Regional Bridge Tournament. The 50-year-old Bermuda Regional Bridge Tournament attracts more than 400 players from both home and abroad. Sanctioned by the American Contract Bridge League, the round-robins are an elegant, exciting, and unique event hosted at the Fairmont Southampton Resort the last week of January. 441/293–2972. www.bermudaregional.com.
Annual Photographic Exhibition. At the Annual Photographic Exhibition, held during the third week of the month in the Bermuda Society of the Arts gallery, you can see the work of local amateur and professional photographers, including many underwater shots. 441/292–3824. www.bsoa.bm.
Annual Bermuda Rendezvous Bowling Tournament. The Annual Bermuda Rendezvous Bowling Tournament, sanctioned by the ABC and WIBC and hosted by Warwick Lanes, is open to all bowlers. Cash prizes are awarded. 441/236–5290.
Bermuda All Breed Championship Dog Shows and Obedience Trials. The Bermuda All Breed Championship Dog Shows and Obedience Trials draw dog lovers from far and wide to the Botanical Gardens in Paget each spring. The event is held again in October. 441/291–1426.
Bermuda Super Senior Invitational Tennis Tournament. The Bermuda Super Senior Invitational Tennis Tournament is a USTA-sanctioned event held at the Coral Beach & Tennis Club in Paget. It's held during the second week in March. 441/296–0834.
Bermuda Horse & Pony Association Spring Show. Horse lovers can watch a range of equestrian events when the two-day Bermuda Horse & Pony Association Spring Show comes to the National Equestrian Centre in Devonshire Parish in the middle of the month. Check the website for a full 2014 event schedule. 441/234–0485. www.bef.bm.
Bermuda Men's and Ladies Match Play Championships. The island golf association swings into gear with the Bermuda Men's and Ladies Match Play Championships. Both are played at the exclusive Mid Ocean Club in Tucker's Town. 441/295–9972. www.bermudagolf.org.
Zoom Around the Sound. Zoom Around the Sound, an annual 7.2-mi trip around Harrington Sound sponsored by the Bermuda Zoological Society, invites walkers, joggers, runners, bikers, and rollerbladers to go the distance. It's a fund-raiser for the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo. 441/293–2727. www.bamz.org. $20 (early), $25 (race morning).
Bermuda Squash Masters. The Bermuda Squash Masters, held at the end of March or the beginning of April, attracts the world's top ranked players, along with (usually) one "wild-card" Bermudian player. It's considered a grand-slam event by many of the players; visit the BSRA (Bermuda Squash Racquets Association) website for information on entry fees and scheduling. www.bermudasquash.com.
Bermuda International Film Festival. In April, the prestigious Bermuda International Film Festival shows dozens of independent feature, documentary, and short films from around the world, awarding prizes in four categories. In addition to seven days of screenings, you can expect panel discussions, parties, and popcorn. 441/293–3456. www.biff.bm.
Palm Sunday Walk. The Palm Sunday Walk is an annual 5- to 8-mi stroll sponsored by the Bermuda National Trust. Following a different route each year, the event allows thousands of walkers to access private properties that would otherwise be off-limits. 441/236–6483. www.bnt.bm.
Good Friday. Good Friday is a public holiday and traditionally a kite-flying day. Bermudians usually make special Bermuda kites out of tissue paper, glue, and wooden sticks, and celebrate with fish cakes on hot-cross buns.
Bermuda Kite Festival. Good Friday is a public holiday and traditionally the day for kite flying. Residents like to make their own from tissue paper, glue, and wooden sticks; then show them off during the annual Bermuda Kite Festival. Held at Horseshoe Bay in Southampton, it includes a kite contest plus classic fun and games. 441/295–0729.
Annual Exhibition. Much like a state fair, Bermuda's Annual Exhibition showcases agriculture via livestock competitions, horticultural displays, and down-home entertainment. This three-day event at the Botanical Gardens typically runs the third weekend in April and is great for kids. The gardens (free other days) charge admission for the exhibition. 441/239–2351. www.bdaexhibition.bm.
Peppercorn Ceremony. Members of St. George's Masonic Lodge pay their rent on the Old State House with great pomp and circumstance during the Peppercorn Ceremony. A single peppercorn is solemnly passed over to the mayor in a stylish (if somewhat surreal) display that includes a march by the Bermuda Regiment. 441/297–1532.
International Invitational Race Week. Regatta season gets off to a roaring start with International Invitational Race Week, hosted by the illustrious Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in late April and early May. Since 1927 it has pitted Bermuda's top sailors against the best of the rest in keel boat and dinghy-class races on the Great Sound. 441/295–2214. www.biirw.bm.
Bermuda Heritage Month. May is Bermuda Heritage Month, when a host of commemorative, cultural, and sporting activities are scheduled. The climax is Bermuda Day (May 24), a public holiday that includes a parade around Hamilton, a cycling race, and dinghy races in St. George's Harbour. Traditionally, this is also the first day that locals swim, swearing the water is too cold earlier in the year—though most visitors don't seem to mind. 441/292–1681.
Open Houses & Gardens Event. Prepare to go green with envy. Wednesday afternoons in May, the Garden Club of Bermuda leads to-die-for tours through private properties during their yearly Open Houses & Gardens Event. At least three different spots can be viewed each week with private tours available upon request. 441/295–3661. www.gardenclubbermuda.org.
Bermuda End-to-End. On the first Saturday in May, Bermuda End-to-End lets you get exercise and meet residents while raising money for charity. The full 24-mi walking course mostly follows the Railway Trail, but alternate routes (including ones for swimmers, bicyclists, boaters, and equestrians) are also available. 441/292–6992. www.bermudaendtoend.bm.
Bermuda Senior Championship. The Bermuda Senior Championships for Men and Ladies are hosted by the island's oldest golf club—Riddell's Bay, in Warwick Parish. Women entrants must be at least 50 years old, men at least 55. 441/295–9972. www.bermudagolf.org.
Newport–Bermuda Race. Seasoned yachtsmen chart a challenging 635-mi course from Rhode Island to St. David's Lighthouse during the biennial Newport–Bermuda Race. One of the sailing world's preeminent blue water events, it's held late June in even-numbered years and is hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. 441/295–2214. www.bermudarace.com.
Bermuda Ocean Race. The smaller-scale Bermuda Ocean Race out of Annapolis sets sail in even-numbered years and attracts competitors from all over the world. 410/849–8523. www.bermudaoceanrace.com.
Marion-Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race. Intrepid yachtsmen sail 645 mi from Plymouth County, Massachusetts, during the biennial Marion-Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race co-hosted by the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club. It's a prestigious, uniquely Bermudian event that takes place in odd-numbered years. 441/236–2250. www.marionbermuda.com.
Bermuda Angler's Club International Light Tackle Tournament. Tuna tends to be the catch of the day at the Bermuda Angler's Club International Light Tackle Tournament. Even if you don't like "Chicken of the Sea," it's fun to watch the four days of weigh-ins at Spanish Point Boat Club. 441/293–0875. www.ilttbermuda.com.
Bermuda Amateur Stroke Play Championships for Men and Ladies. The Bermuda Amateur Stroke Play Championships for Men and Ladies are simultaneous events played at the Port Royal Golf Club in Southampton Parish. Men and women play 72 and 54 holes respectively. 441/295–9972. www.bermudagolf.org.
Harbour Nights. Harbour Nights, a street festival featuring Bermudian artists, crafts, Gombey dancers, face painting, and the like, takes place every Wednesday night in summer on Front, Queen, and Reid Streets in the City of Hamilton. The newly expanded carnival encompasses a larger area in downtown Hamilton and features live entertainers and rides for the kids.
Bermuda Triple Crown. The island keeps reeling in top-notch anglers with the back-to-back billfish tournaments that make up the Bermuda Triple Crown. First up is the Bermuda Billfish Blast, followed by the Bermuda Big Game Classic, and the Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament. As if we needed an excuse to get salty! 407/571–4680. www.bermudatriplecrown.com.
Cup Match Cricket Festival. The Cup Match Cricket Festival is a spirited two-day celebration centered on the match between rival Somerset and St. George's cricket clubs. (Locals sport red-and-navy if they're Somerset fans, dark blue–and–light blue if they're St. George's fans.) The highlight of Bermuda's events calendar, it's scheduled either the last Thursday and Friday in July or the first Thursday and Friday in August in conjunction with two public holidays: Emancipation Day and Somers Day. 441/234–0327 or 441/297–0374.
Non-Mariners Race. The quirky Non-Mariners Race is decidedly nonsensical. On the first Sunday in August, landlubbers hastily cobble together "non-boats" on the beach using cardboard, barrels, and anything else they can get their hands on; then attempt to race them in Mangrove Bay. No paddles, oars, engines, or sails are permitted and contraptions that manage to float far are disqualified. 441/234–2248.
International Sand Sculpture Competition. Bermuda's fine pink sand is put to good use during Horseshoe Bay's one-day International Sand Sculpture Competition, typically held on the Saturday before Labour Day. Teams of up to six people are encouraged to get creative and build the craziest sculptures possible on a 15x15-foot patch of beach. Prizes are awarded in seven categories, including Families, Professionals, and Tourists. 441/295–4597.
Butterfield Bermuda Grand Prix. Cyclists gear up for the Butterfield Bermuda Grand Prix. Bermuda's biggest bike race of the year focuses on amateur and junior riders, both from the island and elsewhere. The events, spread over three days, include timed trials, road races, and hair-raising criterium.
Marine Science Day. Marine Science Day at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science (BIOS) gives locals and visitors the chance to experience what it's like to be a scientist. Explore the changing climate, microscopic plant growth, or even coral reef restoration; food and drinks are provided. 441/297–1880.
Bermuda Mixed Foursomes Amateur Golf Championship. The Bermuda Mixed Foursomes Amateur Golf Championship is a two-day, 36-stroke play competition for couples at Tucker's Point Golf Club. The handicap limit is 24 for men, 36 for ladies. 441/295–9972. www.bermudagolf.org.
Bank of Bermuda Foundation Triathlon Race Series. Triathletes cap their calendar with the Bank of Bermuda Foundation Triathlon Race Series. Entrants in the team event swim, bike, and run around the city of Hamilton on the last Sunday in September—expect great fanfare and excitement from spectators! www.bermudatriathlon.com.
King Edward VII Gold Cup. The weeklong King Edward VII Gold Cup sees match-race skippers (America's Cup competitors among them) vie for the titular trophy and a $100,000 purse. Races are in Hamilton Harbour, and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club opens its doors for the event, making this one especially appealing to spectators. 441/295–6361.
PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Go fore it! Mid-month the Port Royal Golf Course proudly hosts the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Only an ultra-elite foursome—winners of the year's Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship—qualify to play. 561/624–8400. www.pga.com.
Bermuda Open Championship. Professional and accomplished amateur golfers again tee off at the Bermuda Open Championship. Held at the Port Royal Golf Club, it's considered to be the island's premier annual golfing event. 441/295–9972. www.bermudagolf.org.
Bermuda International Dog Show. The two-day dog show is an exciting, outdoor event that draws handlers and owners from the U.S., Canada, and Bermuda. Teams perform various courses using signals to meet challenging performance requirements—barking is allowed! 441/291–4230.
Reconvening of Parliament. On the first Friday in November, the Reconvening of Parliament kicks off when the governor, in full regalia, arrives at Hamilton's Cabinet Building in a horse-drawn landau. His Speech from the Throne (detailing new policies and initiatives) usually begins around 11 am, so arrive by 10:15 to secure a good spot. 441/292–7408.
World Rugby Classic. During the World Rugby Classic former international players from around the globe again represent their respective countries in matches at the National Sports Centre in Devonshire Parish. Afterward fans can mix with the players in a "tavern tent" behind the touchline. 441/295–6574. www.worldrugby.bm.
Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day is a public holiday held in memory of fallen soldiers from Bermuda and its allied nations. A parade with Bermudian, British, and U.S. military units, the Bermuda Police, and war-veterans' organizations takes place on Front Street in Hamilton, and commemorative wreaths are laid at the Cenotaph near the Cabinet Building.
Bermuda Four Ball Stroke Play Amateur Championships for Men and Ladies. The Bermuda Four Ball Stroke Play Amateur Championships for Men and Ladies are simultaneous events at the Port Royal Golf Course. Handicap limits are 18 for men, 24 for women. 441/295–9972. www.bermudagolf.org.
Coral Beach & Tennis Club. The Coral Beach & Tennis Club Invitational in Paget Parish is an exciting week-long tournament that attracts both visitors and locals. 441/236–2233. www.coralbeachclub.com.
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