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HomeNewsArchivesGlitzy Children's Parade Rattles Main Street

Glitzy Children's Parade Rattles Main Street

Antilles School's contribution to the Children's Parade.Pastels and tulle, batons and glitter, pompoms and tiaras graced the 60th Anniversary Carnival Children’s Parade on Friday in Charlotte Amalie. Music pulsed through the crowd in waves as troupe after troupe twirled their way down Main Street to cheers from family, locals, and curious tourists who looked questioningly at closed stores proclaiming “Carnival” as their holiday.

“This year is going to be very special because we brought people from all over the world. It’s the 60th anniversary!” announced Miami-based Carnival participant Kalimba Pratt, pointing out his balancing mocko jumbie friends.

As usual, thousands gathered on Main Street from Rothschild Francis Square (Market Square) to Lionel Roberts Stadium to watch children as brilliantly costumed as Easter eggs marching down Main Street to the beat of traditional and non-traditional songs like “Happy Birthday Carnival,” Ne-Yo’s “Give Me Everything (Tonight),” and “A Spoonful of Sugar” from the movie “Mary Poppins.”

Hair pieces and costume extensions reaching anywhere from a few inches to five feet danced in the afternoon sunlight as parade participants swayed their hips. Chair and flag routines wowed the audience as a few skilled dancers showed off with acrobatics.

Gladys A. Abraham Elementary students, who promoted literacy and books by local authors, made pieces of their costumes out of recycled items.

“We used old cans from the lunchroom to make local mocko jumbies,” assistant principal Patricia Maynard said. “We are so proud of the students!”

Another onlooker Viusa Powell has participated in the Children’s Parade since 1952 when she dressed as a butterfly. Powell said she has been a majorette, judge, and even carnival royalty.A dancer relaxes for a moment.

“What I enjoy the most is seeing people I haven’t seen in years and people that come home,” laughed Powell as she hugged an old friend.

There were 48 entries this year, although some groups were scattered out of order or simply were not present. However, those groups that did attend were more than enough to keep the crowd jamming from 10 a.m. until late in the afternoon.

The usual routines of baton twirling and steel pan bands rocked the spectators. Some bands played so enthusiastically that stages rattled underneath their dancing feet, sending vibrations throughout the audience. Vendors along Main Street provided the customary delicious treats such as sweetbread, saltfish, tarts, Cruzan rum concoctions, johnny cakes, and more.

This year’s theme “A Celebration for the World to See” echoed throughout the Children’s Parade with references to Caribbean culture in the past and present, Carnival birthday celebrations, and much more. The Adults’ Parade will take place Saturday at 10 a.m. with a longer route beginning at the Western Cemetery.

Leaving the parade in tangled mass, a passerby noted how wonderful it is that participating children have something to focus on and look forward to for the greater part of the year, and that it teaches them to set goals for their futures.

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