Rival parishes compete on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer months, and the games are whole-day affairs.
“Bermudians love visitors, and can spot a tourist a mile away,” said Nicole Golden, owner of Urban Cottage, a lifestyle boutique and social hub. “They’ll call you over and give you drinks and food. You’ll make a lot of new friends very quickly.”
A National Holiday
Then there’s Cup Match, Aug. 2-3, a national holiday celebrating Emancipation Day and centered around a heated cricket match between two island rivals, St. George’s and Somerset. During this islandwide party, visitors are welcomed like longlost relatives. There’s a special section reserved for overseas visitors, and complimentary cricket guides are provided for the unacquainted. Festivities begin with Beachfest at Horseshoe Bay Beach, and families set up makeshift overnight camps.
“Bermudians did glamping before there was glamping,” Golden said. “They bring their whole house with them: fridge, sink, cable, music, hampers of food.” Vendors hock mussel pie, fish cakes and shark hash; the rum swizzles flow; and celebrants wander from camp to camp. On Day Two, the locals dress in their favorite team’s colors: red and blue for Somerset, and light blue and dark blue for St. George’s. “It’s an unofficial fashion show,” Golden said.
Music, Games & On-the-Water Fun
Try your luck at Crown & Anchor, a simple (yet competitive) dice game traditionally played by sailors in the Royal Navy. By night, join the dancing at the Soca vs. Reggae event, and on Sunday, follow the locals to Mangrove Bay for the Non-Mariners’ Race – a “nonrace” of barely seaworthy vessels, slapped together with all types of building materials. “Bermudians love to celebrate,” Golden said. “And we love showing visitors a good time.”
As seen in NY Times Magazine.