April 23, 2005 – A familiar scene is playing itself out on St. Thomas — Carnival comes; it rains. Fans of carnival sing, "Rain Can't Stop the Carnival." Then they scatter as the showers soak through their resistance.
Officials of the V.I. Carnival could do nothing but look skyward Friday night as torrential rains drenched the Lionel Roberts Stadium, planned setting for the Culture Night celebration. They returned Saturday morning to assess the condition of the stadium field in anticipation of the international calypso revue set for Saturday night.
But by Saturday morning a decision had yet to be made. "It's real muddy," said Carnival Committee Chairman Kenneth Blake. "We can't say about tonight. We have to wait and see."
However, a decision was made for Culture Night, featuring the colorful King and Queen of the Band Competition. "Culture Night was postponed because of rain. It has been re scheduled for Wednesday night," Blake said.
He pointed out that rains have visited the outdoor stadiums shows over the years and last-minute decisions on whether to go on with the show is part of the routine.
Late Saturday morning he said a determination would likely come towards the end of the day.
Still under consideration is Sunday's Steelband Jamboree, featuring school, church and community bands from the St. Thomas-St. John district.
The National Weather Service in San Juan says the Virgin Islands can expect passing heavy showers Saturday and heightened probability of showers and thunderstorms up until Wednesday.
On some levels, this year's celebrations practically dared a visit by inclement weather when Government House hosted a presentation of a musical instrument used by an early personality in the V.I. Carnival.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull honored the late calypsonian, the Cecil "Duke of Iron" Anderson, who popularized a song he made up on the spot of the first carnival parade in 1952.
The song's chorus, "Rain Can't Stop De Carnival," was sung when an unexpected gush of rain doused participants of that parade. The musician's family gave the Duke of Iron's quatro, a stringed instrument similar to a guitar, to Government House officials during a reception held Wednesday night on St. Thomas.
It rained that night, too.
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