Huge crowds expected as Chamber holds July 4 event

A “huge” crowd is expected in Hamilton tomorrow night as retailers and restaurants show their red, white and blue as part of a “spectacular” American Independence Day celebration organised by the Chamber of Commerce.

With Harbour Nights falling on the Fourth of July this year, the Chamber decided to throw what it hopes will be” Bermuda’s biggest ever block party!”

The grand finale of the event will be a laser light show by Great Sound and a fireworks display after 9.30pm from White’s Island over the harbour, sponsored by City of Hamilton and the Bermuda Hotel Association.

In keep with the US tradition, there will be a hot dog eating contest as well, sponsored by Ballpark and Pepsi (Dunkley’s).

“We will be looking for eight contestants in the crowd and Pepsi has ordered 250 hand clappers to give out to the crowd to get help cheer them on,” said Chamber executive director Joanne MacPhee.

As a tribute to our American friends and neighbours, the Chamber has partnered with its vendors, retailers and restaurant members to celebrate the holiday.

“Participating stores and vendors will be festooned in red, white and blue and restaurants and bars in the area will be featuring American food items and beverages at special celebratory prices,” she said.

The entertainment line-up for the night begins with the Argo Foundation presents Bermuda Glee, a specially choreographed performance of “Seasons of love” from the Broadway smash hit musical Rent, to be performed by 55 Bermuda public and private school students between the ages of 14 and 18.

Soloist Toni Robinson will perform a musical tribute to America, before making way for Evolution, Hamilton’s Hair & Beauty Showcase.

The fashion show will be followed by Pump It Up, the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Trusts’ lighthearted fund raiser featuring well-heeled local celebrities.

Then there will be a Ballpark Hot Dog eating competition and Pickled Onion’s house band Graffiti Park, “will have Bermuda dancing in the streets to classic American rock ‘n’ roll”.

“Perhaps the most amazing part of the entire night is the fact that it is all absolutely free!,” Ms MacPhee said. “So we are actively encouraging all of Bermuda to come out and celebrate with our visitors. “

Ms MacPhee said thousands were expected tomorrow night, noting that the Department of Tourism had distributed a flyer about the event to every hotel and guest house. The cruise lines are also aware and actively promoting the even plus school is out for the summer holidays

She added: “July is also BlackBerry smartphone launch and we are very pleased to be welcoming our first international sponsor to Harbour Nights. Research In Motion, the global leader in wireless innovation that revolutionised the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry solution has teamed up with local technology partner Digicel and will be using Harbour Nights as a platform to launch and market the new BlackBerry Curve 9320 later this month.”