Jan. 8, 2005 – People of every shape, size, color and age lined the parade route in Frederiksted from Hannah's Rest to the Paul E. Joseph Stadium.
They all had one thing in common. When the floats came by loaded with musicians providing the beat, they joined in. Sometimes, the spectators did not wait for the band to get to the block where they were sitting on porches, walls, curbs, and at tables in front of bars. Just the hint of the sound of the upcoming band, the sight of dancing girls, would set them off into a motion that said, "I feel good. I hope you do too."
There was the black man from Georgia saying this was the first time in "The Virgins" and he loved it.
There was the Hispanic woman, Marie Wades, from Puerto Rico, who said, "This is so different from St. Thomas, so much better."
Then there was the white couple from Denmark quietly asking why, if the parade was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., there was no action yet and it was noon.
And then there were the politicians saying what politicians say. Oddly enough, Neville James, of the major minority, and Usie Richards, of the consensus majority, seemed engaged in a long exchange off King Street near the restaurant Pier 69.
If there was anything competing with the sounds and the motto of this year's Crucian Christmas Festival – Sashay to the Rhythm of Our Cultural Vibes – it was the colors. Colors are hot in the Caribbean, but they never are hotter than they were at this Christmas festival.
There were blues that challenged the beauty of the blues in the ocean surrounding St. Croix and there were pinks that challenged, well, anyone who would dare to be as hot pink as these island troupes.
Performing in royal blue and heralding some of the good music were the 60 members of the St. Croix Majorettes. They were celebrating 30 years under the directorship of Celia Maldonado.
Celebrating the history of St. Croix was the floupe of the AARP Virgin Islands.
Their float had two queens of the Fireburn of 1878 sitting in it. They were depicted by Joyce Christian and Norrine Abramson. Their float was surrounded by dancers playing workers who demanded their rights and Danish policemen trying to quell the rioting and burning.
Although this history lesson was presented in a fun spirit, the Gentlemen of Jones presented the most fun drama. They had floats representing three different Caribbean structures where life was enjoyed through eating, drinking and smoking. They dramatized this, very creatively, by eating, drinking and smoking.
A strong presence by the V.I. Police Department did not detract from the positive aspect of the event. Instead, it actually added to it. Officers gave advice where to park and how best to see the parade.
Even the politicians seemed to be getting along. Anita Davila standing between politicians, aligned with different factions in the senate said, "They are both personal friends."
And the rain stayed away.
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