Article by: The Royal Gazette
A charity that helps a traditional Christmas Day event run well has asked party goers to give it a miss this year to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Anne Hyde, the Keep Bermuda Beautiful executive director, warned hurricane damage to the public stairs at Elbow Beach in Paget had not been repaired and the beach was almost sandless.
She said: “Keep Bermuda Beautiful wants to alert the public they should not plan to celebrate Christmas at Elbow Beach.”
The charity has helped the annual celebration at the beach become litter-free by supplying extra trash cans and carrying out a clean-up of the beach on Boxing Day.
KBB has also worked with the nearby Coral Beach Club and St. Paul’s Anglican Church volunteers to organise parking and the trash cans.
But the charity and it’s supporters will not provide the services this year in a bid to deter a large turnout.
Ms Hyde said: “It has been the closest thing to a litter-free event, with everybody using the designated waste and recycling bins and being respectful of the environment.
“This annual event is not hosted or sponsored by anyone. It has simply morphed from a few people to a throng of thousands and, over the years, has become a Christmas tradition for many residents and visitors.
“But as we all know, the year 2020 is not a normal year, and we need to be flexible and make some sacrifices to stay safe during this pandemic.
“On top of that, the public beach at Elbow is nearly sandless and there is a big drop down from the bottom of the stairs to the beach and boulders below which are unsafe in their present state.”
Ms Hyde added that the Big Brothers Big Sisters charity had also cancelled its Christmas Day party at the beach.
She said: “If you do go out to a public park or beach, please dispose of your trash responsibly and if the public waste bins are full, take your trash home with you.”