|Gombey Warriors at the 2016 festival (File photograph by Akil Simmons)|
The 2017 Bermuda International Gombey Festival has been expanded from a one-day event to an entire weekend, beginning tomorrow.
Social development minister Zane DeSilva said: “I want to encourage the public to come out and enjoy this dazzling, energetic, cultural display.
“To have so many of the troupes gather together in celebration of our proud heritage is an opportunity not to be missed.
“I am particularly excited about the expansion of the festival this year to include several events over four days; rather than just one event on one day.
“The event was so popular last year that we have had to move the main event, on Saturday, to a larger venue to accommodate more spectators.”
The Gombey Festival is held annually to provide continued exposure to the folk art traditions of this important cultural heritage. The late Terry “Termite” Simmons will be honoured at this year’s festival.
• Thursday: MASKulinity: traditions of the Bermuda Gombey. Art showcase mingle at Bermuda Society of Arts, from 5pm to 7pm.
• Friday: The Persistence of Tradition: Masking in West Africa, Haiti and Bermuda. Dr Kenneth E. Robinson/Cyril Outerbridge Packwood Memorial Lecture, with Chika Okeke-Agulu, associate professor at Department of African American Studies, Princeton University, at Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, from 7pm. Tickets at Department of Community and Cultural Affairs.
• Saturday: Bermuda International Gombey Festival Showcase at Botanical Gardens, main show ring, from 5pm to 9pm.
• Sunday: Gombey Festival Weekend Sundowner at Tobacco Bay, from 4pm to 9pm.
• Sunday: Trust Talk, The Bermuda Gombey, Origins and Evolution at Verdmont, 6 Verdmont Lane, off Collectors Hill, Smith’s, from 1.30pm. Cost $20 to members, $25 for non-members.