Bermuda On the Calendar

Bermuda is a year-round destination with an active events calendar, so we've highlighted the top annual offerings. For more options, consult The Bermuda Tourism Authority (800/237–6832 or 441/296–9200 www.gotobermuda.com). Local publications like the free, widely distributed tourist magazine The Bermuda.com Guide provide a monthly overview, while the island's newspaper, the Royal Gazette (www.royalgazette.com), typically highlights upcoming events in print and online. Further info can be found at www.bermuda.com, www.bernews.com, and bermynet.com.

January

Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts. Since 1976 the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts, the largest of its kind on the island, has featured international performers. Plays, ballets, chamber orchestras, and jazz jams are staged over two months at The Earl Cameron 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 10-km (6-mile) charity walk. Top runners participate, but most races are open to all. Bermuda National Athletics Association, 48 Cedarparkade, Hamilton, Pembroke Parish, HM11. 441/296–0951; www.bermudaraceweekend.com.

Bermuda Regional Bridge Tournament. The decades-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. www.bermudaregional.com.

Members' Photography Show. At the annual Members' Photography Show, held during the end of the month in the Bermuda Society of Arts gallery, you can see the work of local amateur and professional photographers, including many underwater shots. City Hall, 17 Church St., Hamilton, Pembroke Parish, HM 11. 441/292–3824; www.bsoa.bm.

Mid Atlantic Athletic Club Races. This club hosts many middle- to long-distance running events at various locations across the island throughout the year. The main attraction is the annual Fairmont to Fairmont, a 7.2-mile (11.6-km) race that challenges participants to make the trek from the Hamilton Princess (managed by Fairmont) to the Fairmont Southampton. The Renaissance 10 Miler and Team Challenge in March and the Fidelity 5k in June are also popular. 441/239–4803; www.maac.bm.

March

Bermuda International Film Festival. This top-notch festival is a celebration of independent films from all over the world. A full week of springtime screenings takes place at City Hall in Hamilton. Tickets are sold for individual films as well as for workshops and seminars. Festival parties are also popular, as Hamilton mimics—for a few days at least—the glamour of Sundance, minus the fancy cars. 441/293–3456; www.biff.bm.

March and April

Bermuda All Breed Championship Dog Shows and Obedience Trials. The event draws dog lovers from far and wide to the Bermuda Botanical Gardens in Paget each spring and again in October. In addition, the International Dog Events Association (IDEA) hosts agility events every January and April. 441/295–6696; www.dogtrainingclubbda.org; www.bermudakennelclub.com.

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.

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.

Palm Sunday Walk. The Palm Sunday Walk is an annual 5- to 8-mile (8- to 13-km) 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.

Zoom Around the Sound. Zoom Around the Sound, an annual 7.2-mile (12-km) trip around Harrington Sound sponsored by the Bermuda Zoological Society, invites walkers, joggers, runners, bikers, and rollerbladers to go the distance. It's a fundraiser for the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo. 441/293–2727; www.bamz.org.

April

Agricultural Exhibition. Much like a state fair, Bermuda's Agricultural Exhibition fosters a fun, educational environment with a variety of livestock competitions, horticultural displays, and homemade, farm-fresh food contests. This three-day event at the Bermuda Botanical Gardens typically runs the third weekend in April and is great for kids. Devonshire Parish. 441/236–4812; bermudaexhibition.com.

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. www.bikesignup.com/Race/BM/Various/BermudaGrandPrix.

Legends of Squash. The well-attended Legends of Squash tournament attracts some of the best players in the sport. The event is organized by the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association and held at the end of April. 441/292–6881; www.bermudasquash.com.

Peppercorn Ceremony. At the end of April every year, 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. See the website for current information about the date and other details. 441/297–1532; peppercornbda.com.

April and May

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 1937 it has pitted Bermuda's top sailors against the best of the rest in keel boat and dinghy-class races on the Great Sound. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, 15 Point Pleasant Rd., Hamilton, Pembroke Parish, HM11. www.regattanetwork.com/event/18033.

May

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-mile 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 Half Marathon Derby. Held on Bermuda Day (May 24), a public holiday, the race brings thousands of locals and visitors, who line the edges of the 13.1-mile (21-km) course. Even if you aren't a runner, it's great fun to watch. There's also the annual Heritage Day parade, complete with Gombeys, baton twirlers, floats, and musicians, in Hamilton afterward. The procession starts at 1:30 pm from Bernard Park, finishing on Front Street several hours later. 441/737–0046; www.bermudamarathon.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; communityandculture.bm/pages/heritage-month.

Bermuda Horse & Pony Association Spring Show. Horse lovers can watch a range of equestrian events at the two-day Bermuda Horse & Pony Association Spring Show, which is held at the National Equestrian Centre or the Botanical Gardens in early May. Devonshire Parish. 441/505–3815; www.bef.bm.

Bermuda Senior Stroke Play Championship. Open to women over 50 and men over 55, the Bermuda Senior Stroke Play Championships are hosted at the stunning Belmont Hills Golf Course. Challenging water hazards, a dramatic landscape, and panoramic views of Hamilton Harbour await. 441/295–9972; www.bermudagolf.org.

May and June

Open Houses & Gardens Event. Prepare to go green with envy. Tuesday afternoons in May and June, the Garden Club of Bermuda leads to-die-for tours through private properties during its yearly Open Houses & Gardens Event. These walkabouts offer a rare glimpse into unique architectural and horticultural landmarks at the peak of the island's growing season. 441/234–2455; www.gardenclubbermuda.org.

June

Annapolis Bermuda Ocean Race. First held in 1979, the 753-mile (1,212-km) Annapolis Bermuda Ocean Race sets sail from Maryland in even-numbered years. Hosted by the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, it attracts competitors from all over the world. www.bermudaoceanrace.com.

Bermuda Amateur Stroke Play Championships. The championships are hosted by Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton. The exciting 52-hole event treats competitors to over 6,842 manicured yards and picturesque ocean views. Southampton Parish. 441/295–9972; www.bermudagolf.org.

Bermuda Anglers Club International Light Tackle Tournament. Founded in 1937, the Bermuda Anglers Club has been hosting their International Light Tackle Tournament since 1967. Teams of three anglers are invited to try their hands at reeling in a variety of billfish, tuna, marlin, and more. www.ilttbermuda.com.

Bermuda Triathlons. The Bermuda Triathlon Association holds these sporting events about once a month from April to October. The events are of various lengths and combine a swim, a cycling leg, and a run. The BTA also hosts sprint series throughout summer months. Many of the events take place at Clearwater Beach in St. David's or at Harrington Sound Dock. www.bermudatriathlon.com.

Harbour Nights. This street festival featuring Bermudian artists, crafts, Gombey dancers, face painting, and the like takes place every Wednesday night from May to September on Front, Queen, and Reid streets in the city of Hamilton. The carnival encompasses a larger area in downtown Hamilton and features live entertainers and rides for the kids. www.bermudachamber.bm/harbour-nights.

Marion--Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race. Intrepid yacht sailors travel 645 miles (1,038 km) 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.

Newport Bermuda Race. Seasoned yacht sailors chart a challenging 635-mile (1,022-km) 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 mid-June in even-numbered years and is hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. 441/295–2214; www.bermudarace.com.

July

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! www.bermudatriplecrown.com.

July and August

Cup Match Cricket Festival. The 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 for the Thursday and Friday before the first Monday in August, in conjunction with two public holidays: Emancipation Day and Somers Day. The location of the match alternates annually between Somerset Cricket Club in Sandys Parish and St. George’s Cricket Club in St. George's Parish. 441/234–0327; 441/297–0374.

September

Bermuda Mixed Foursomes Amateur Golf Championship. The championship is a two-day, 36-stroke play competition for couples at Turtle Hill Golf Club in Southampton. Turtle Hill Golf Club, 101 South Rd., Southampton Parish, SN 02. 441/295–9972; www.bermudagolf.org.

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 Labor Day. Teams of up to six people are encouraged to get creative and build the craziest sculptures possible on a 15-by-15-foot patch of beach. Prizes are awarded in seven categories, including Families, Professionals, and Tourists. 441/505–7822; www.sandcastle.bm.

October

Argo Group Gold Cup. The weeklong Argo Group 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. 441/295–2214; www.argogroupgoldcup.com.

Bermuda International Dog Show. The two-day dog show is an exciting outdoor event that draws handlers and owners from the United States, Canada, and Bermuda. Teams perform various courses using signals to meet challenging performance requirements—barking is allowed! www.bermudakennelclub.com.

November

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. Sessions House, Church St., Hamilton, Pembroke Parish, HM 11. 441/292–7408; www.parliament.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 November 11 on Front Street in Hamilton, and commemorative wreaths are laid at the Cenotaph near the Cabinet Building.

Santa Claus Parade. Father Christmas visits Front Street in the Santa Claus Parade, usually held the last week of November. The energy level is high as Santa cruises through Hamilton, accompanied by marching bands, majorettes, Bermuda Gombeys, and floats.

World Rugby Classic. During the World Rugby Classic, former international players from around the globe again represent their respective countries in matches at the Bermuda 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.

December

Annual Christmas Walkabout in St. George's. The annual 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-themed readings, and eggnog sipping are also on the agenda. 441/236–6483; www.bnt.bm.

Bermuda Goodwill Tournament. Foursomes made up of professional and amateur golfers swing into action during the Bermuda Goodwill Tournament for a week of camaraderie and golf at the Mid Ocean Golf Club. 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.bermudagoodwillgolf.com.

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 motocross competitions—are scheduled, and Gombey troupes mark the day by dancing in the streets.

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 December and is topped off by fireworks. It is held in odd-numbered years.

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