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Crucian Kids' Parade Corners Market on Cute

A participant decked out in parade garb. (Victoria Baur photo)If you were looking for tons of cute Friday you couldn’t have done better than Frederiksted, where the Crucian Christmas Festival’s Children’s Parade had a corner on that commodity.

It’s hard to imagine anything more adorable than a dozen or more baton-twirling majorettes, none of them more than three feet tall, strutting down the parade route. Or an elementary school’s “royal court,” two or three or six children in unaccustomed formal wear, with glazed smiles working on their best parade wave from the back of a pickup bedecked with balloons and crepe paper.

Or the brightly costumed troupes from the island’s elementary schools, or the high school marching bands, or steel pan bands, or all the other accoutrements of a parade.

And for every smiling, waving, strutting young parader, there was at least a handful of proud family, and often quite a bit more, waving and cheering as their favorite family member marches proudly or shyly by.

In the staging area at the Claude O. Markoe Elementary School, Vanessa Acosta was putting the finishing touches on the Egyptian motif costume of her 7-year-old son, Geovan. It was his first parade and he smiled when asked if was looking forward to it.

“What do you think will be the best part?” he was asked. Again he smiled but said nothing, Finally his mother filled in the blank for him – “The attention,” she said, laughing.

It was also the first parade for Athalie Alvarez, 8, who was representing her school as “Ms. Alexander Henderson.” She wore a flowing lilac gown that her mother, Rane Edwards, had made in six hours, and fidgeted as mom put the finishing touches on, including affixing her tiara tightly so it wouldn’t spring off midway down the parade route.

Thousands lined the parade route that ran from the school to the Festival Village at the north end of Frederiksted, where the parade culminated before the reviewing stand at Fort Frederik.

Diane Southwell was watching her first Children’s Parade with her nieces and daughter, and was having a great time.

“It’s beautiful!” she said as her feet tapped in rhythm to the passing band. “It’s a great parade, so wonderful.”

Passing by the fort in the final steps of the parade was a time of mixed emotions for most of the hundreds of kids who had marched through town to the applause and cheers of the crowd. They were foot weary and hot and glad to be able to sit down and rest. But it was also the end of their moment in the sun – until next year.

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