Parades

The following are Annual Parades. See the events section for up to date schedule.

Peppercorn Ceremony

Peppercorn Ceremony (A State Visit to the Town of St George by His Excellency the Governor)

Date

Typically held on the Wednesday in April closest to St George's Day (23 April).

Location

King's Square St George

Summary:

His Excellency receives the Annual Rent for the State House from Freemasons Lodge 200 and holds a meeting of Governor’s Council, attended by the Premier and Cabinet Ministers.

His Excellency arrives by Landau at King’s Square at 1058 hrs where he will be met by Her Worshipful The Mayor of St George. His Excellency will inspect a Guard of Honour furnished by The Bermuda Regiment then receive and reply to an address of welcome by The Mayor.

His Excellency will receive the Annual Rent of one Peppercorn for the State House from the Master of Lodge 200. After the Bishop has offered a prayer and pronounced a blessing on the meeting’s deliberations, His Excellency, preceded by the Officers of Lodge 200, will lead the Premier and Members of the Cabinet to the State House, which the Master of Lodge 200 will make available for the meeting.

After the meeting, His Excellency will attend an official reception given by the Mayor.

HM the Queen's Birthday Parade

Date

Held annually in June.

Location

The Flag Pole and Front Street Hamilton

Summary

The Parade celebrates the official birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  The origins of the parade dates back to the reign of King George III when members of the British Household Division mounted a ceremonial parade in London,  Ever since a day has been set aside as the Sovereign's Official Birthday.  We observe the tradition in Bermuda by holding a ceremonial military parade to mark the occasion.

The Parade is organised by the Bermuda Regiment and, in addition to their own guards and Colour Party, units are provided by the Bermuda Police Service, Bermuda Reserve Police, Bermuda Fire Service, Bermuda Cadet Corps and Sea Cadets.

His Excellency the Governor arrives as her Majesty’s representative.  His Excellency inspects the guards after which they march past the dignitaries.  Thereafter, the arrival of the Queen is symbolically recognized with the playing of the National Anthem and the unfurling of Her Majesty’s standard.

A salute to Her Majesty—the feu-du-joie (“fire of joy”)—is given by the Regiment soldiers in three ripple-volleys, each being preceded by a seven round salute (21 total), and is followed by three hearty cheers in Her Majesty’s Honour.  After the symbolic departure of Her Majesty, the dignitaries depart and the guards march off past the Cenotaph, saluting the fallen.

Convening of the Legislature Parade

Date

Typically the last Friday of October/First Friday of November although dependant upon parliamentary cycle.

Location

Grounds of the Cabinet Building and Front Street Hamilton

Summary:

Parliament is convened by His Excellency The Governor on Cabinet Grounds at 1100 hrs.  The Bermuda Regiment provides a Guard of Honour on Front Street for the arrival and departure of His Excellency.  The Governor inspects the Guard of Honour and then dispatches Black Rod to summon the Members of Parliament.  His Excellency then reads the Throne Speech on behalf of the Government, outlining the planned programmes and legislation for the ensuing parliamentary year.

After His Excellency’s departure from the grounds of the Cabinet Building, the Members of Parliament will proceed to the House of Assembly.  The Guard, preceded by the Band and Corps of Drums, will march via Front Street, Queen Street, Church Street and King Street to the Fire Station.

Remembrance Day

Date

11 November

Location

Grounds of the Cabinet Building and Front Street Hamilton

Summary:

Bermuda’s Fallen Heroes are remembered in this solemn parade and service.

Guards of Honour form the Bermuda Regiment, Bermuda Police Service, Bermuda Reserve Police, Bermuda Fire Service, Bermuda Cadet Corps and Sea Cadets assemble on the lawn of the Cabinet Building, having marched on behind the Band and Corps of Drums of the Bermuda Regiment and the Division Band of the Salvation Army.
Once the guards are in position, the War Veteran’s are marched on parade by the Combined Somerset Brigade and North Village Bands.  His Excellency the Governor arrives and inspect the War Veterans.

With hymns and prayers, local clergy conduct a service of remembrance.  At 1100 hours the bugler sounds the Last Post.  Wreaths are then laid in memory of the fallen by dignitaries, Service Chiefs and the Veterans themselves. The Reveille is played at the end of the service.

The Veterans and guards then march off parade.

Beating of the Retreat Ceremonies

Date

End of May through end of October, once or twice a month (none in August) on a Monday or Wednesday evening starting at 2100 hours.

Location

Hamilton, Dockyard and St George

Summary

Funded by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and the Bermuda Department of Tourism, the Bermuda Regiment Band and Corps of Drums and Bermuda Islands Pipe Band Perform a Beating of the Retreat Ceremony.  On occasion visiting band will also participate.

The Beating of the Retreat Ceremony, in its earliest form, was simply a drummers’ call.  The Drum Major and his men would march around the camp or city streets playing drum taps to warn soldiers that it was time to return to their billets, put out their fires and go to bed.  This performance was known as the retreat and many regretted that they did not heed the drummers’ call.

Eventually, a pipe time was added to the drummers’ calls and a more elaborate ceremony emerged.  Later on, bugle calls were added and the parade evolved into the present day Beating of the Retreat Ceremony. 

The massed bands march on, perform separately and then re-mass for the evening hymn and the playing of Sunset, at which the flags are lowered signaling the end of the day.  The bands then march past the guest of honour - His Excellency the Governor, the Honourable Premier, Worshipful Mayors, et al