April 23, 2002 It's not every day a visitor arrives at Magens Bay to be greeted by a 12-foot-tall apparition straight from John McCleverty's Traditional Moko Jumbies. But Tuesday was one of those days.
It was also a day where you could dance to the beat of either Milo's Kings or the Starlites band just a few feet away from the turquoise waters of one of the world's most beautiful bays.
Sailors, locals, cruise ship passengers, workers on lunch break, Virgin Islanders home for Carnival, and visitors of other sorts all found their way by design or by accident to the Beach Fete scheduled as part of the V.I. Carnival 50th anniversary celebration.
Second in numbers only to revelers and sun seekers were police, shore patrol, undercover agents and V.I. Housing Authority Police.
Carnival sponsorship coordinator Steve Bornn, who was assisting with logistics at the event, said, "Things are smooth. This should have been done a long time ago."
Beach Fete was an event specially developed for the 50th anniversary. "You need something for the visitors on off days," during the week leading up to the Carnival grand finale Adults' Parade, Bornn said.
Bornn was one of the organizers of Beach Jam '99 also held at Magens Bay
"If they know we are going to have these things, they'll plan accordingly," he said. He was referring to what he called the black cultural travel market - which he says has its own magazine and travels to carnival celebrations throughout the Caribbean.
Bill Jowers, Magens Bay Authority general manager, said the event "amounted to a fund raiser for Magens Bay," although as of 1 p.m. he said he hadn't seen that many more people than usual, just a different crowd between the sailors, police and dressed-for-business lunch hour break-takers.
But at 3:30 p.m. the road to the bay was backed up with a variety of safari buses, vans and cars trying to get into the beach compound, which is usually clearing out at that time.
The event was scheduled to run until 4 p.m.
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