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History: Bermuda Day Timeline

The Bermuda Half Marathon Derby started over one hundred years ago, back in 1909, and the first Bermuda Day Parade took place in 1979. The timeline below shows a brief look at some of the key aspects and you can view extensive coverage of all the Bermuda Day festivities since 2010 here on BDADay.com.


First Empire Day Takes Place

The first Empire Day took place on May 24, 1902 across the British Empire; this day would later become Bermuda Day.


First Race Held

The first race was held, starting what is now the longest standing race in Bermuda history.


Race Cancelled Due To WWI

The race was cancelled due to the First World War.


First Bermudian Winner

The first Bermudian winner of the race, with John Simons winning in 1 hour, 20 minutes.


First Female Winner

The first time the derby had male and female categories, with Merernette Bean-Simmons the first female winner.


First Bermuda Day Parade Held

The first ever Bermuda Day Parade was held.


First Cycling Race Held

The first time the cycling race was held on the holiday, won by Buddy Ford.


Half Marathon Course Altered

The half marathon course was altered slightly to ensure that it spans 13.1 miles.


Law Passes To Move Bermuda Day To Last Friday

Parliament passes legislation to move the official Bermuda Day holiday to the last Friday of the month of May; the new law took effect in 2018.


Covid-19 Causes Cancellations

Both the race and parade were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


BDADay.com Launched

BDADay.com was launched, the most comprehensive website available on the holiday.


Parade Returns After Covid-19

After a two year hiatus due to the pandemic, the parade returned.