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HomeNewsArchivesFIRST NIGHT CARNIVAL PARADE DRAWS A CROWD

FIRST NIGHT CARNIVAL PARADE DRAWS A CROWD

Sept. 3, 2001 – Sunday's first-ever St. Thomas nighttime carnival parade was a relatively short and sweet affair — but, judging by the crowds, an unqualified success. Part of the Labor Day weekend lineup of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of V.I. Carnival, it attracted 21 entries, some specially lighted for the night, and their enthusiastic followers.
"This is just for fun," parade committee member Benny Gagliani said. The entrants paid no fees and there was no judging or awards, he added.
Applauding spectators lined the parade route from Rothschild Francis "Market" Square along Main Street to the Fort Christian parking lot. A motorized police contingent cleared the parade route in front of 2001 Carnival Queen Cherrisse Woods. Besides the normal street lamps, extra lighting was in place in front of the Alvaro de Lugo Sr. (Emancipation Garden) Post Office. Watchful police on foot patrol mingled with the crowds.
Mocko Jumbie Jamboree founder Gerry Cockrell said she was "pleased with everything" about the event, especially the "cool night air." Recuperating from a twisted ankle, she paraded in costume on foot instead of on stilts with the rest of her troupe.
Lesmore Howard, who chaired the parade committee and was responsible for starting the parade on time, thanked the all who took part. "We really owe it to them for coming out to participate in the spirit of carnival," he said.
Plans for the weekend had included a fun day and jam Monday on the beach at Brewers Bay. However, the V.I. Carnival Committee canceled the event on Saturday after untreated sewage from the nearby treatment plant polluted the water and the beach. The weekend's events kicked off the "Golden Jubilee" year for V.I. Carnival. The committee will be presenting additional activities that will culminate in the 2002 Carnival celebration next April.

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