Wednesday, December 16, 2009
And so it ends. Bermuda’s year-long 400th anniversary celebration culminated with a spectacular fireworks show over Hamilton harbor on Saturday night—a breathtaking finale to the much-awaited boat parade, which included nearly 75 festive vessels decorated in twinkling lights of all kinds. And although I passed up an opportunity to crew the 44-foot catamaran Ana Luna, viewing the parade from a well-appointed Hamilton veranda was indeed the smart way to go. After all, nearly 20,000 spectators showed up to watch the night’s activities. That’s one-third the population of Bermuda—a festive mass angling for a glimpse of the spectacular maritime light show, which lasted for more than two hours. From my perch the harbor was in full view and the wine was flowing (much akin to those fancy New York City Marathon viewing parties that pop up in Manhattan each November). Favorites of the night included the Spirit of Bermuda, a three-masted 86-foot schooner featuring a 20-foot green-lit Heineken bottle mechanically pouring beer into a mug; a 30-foot Boston Whaler outfitted with a smoky volcano that shot fire from its red-lit cauldron; and the night’s big winner, a Michael Jackson-themed barge featuring a 40-foot tall King of Pop wrapped in red lights, a giant illuminated glove (like the one MJ used to wear from his Thriller days) and a laser light show that projected beams of light into the sky. I’m not sure if it best represented the parade’s theme—celebrating 400 years of Bermuda’s history, that is—but if the cheering crowds were any indication, I think the MJ boat got it just right.