Dec. 1, 2005 –About 40 people holding candles were marching down King Street. On Company Street all the art galleries were open, snacks and wine were being served. On Market Square a crowd milled around in front of a new coffee shop. Just another night of quiet community life in Christiansted.
Eight galleries were open to mark the second Art Thursday of the season. The group at Danica's Art Gallery, which included Gary and Alecia Moore and artist Marilyn May, agreed the best way to describe that event was "a lot of smiling people enjoying the evening."
The march was a more solemn occasion. It marked World AIDS Day. Organizer Bruce Smail, the executive director of the V.I. Community AIDS Resource and Education, said the parade was to draw attention to those who were suffering and need help. He added that it was also a way for community members to show they cared. He said he had hoped more would turn out, but he still thought it was a good crowd.
On Market Square Diane Butler was wearing two hats. She is president of the St Croix Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber was holding a Business After Hours at the new Twin City Coffeehouse and Gallery in Sunday Market Square. She is a part owner of the coffeehouse.
The Coffeehouse will open to the public on Monday and will serve breakfast and lunch with a variety of salads, sandwiches and desserts on its menu. It hours will be Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Butler, who is a professional photographer, said she has been interested in opening a coffee shop for several years. However, she is not leaving her artistic side behind. She said she plans to have all the walls filled with the art of local artists.
Roger Dewey, executive director of the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development, said, "It is good to see someone here who shares our vision of what this business neighborhood should be."
The St. Croix Foundation partnered with the V.I. government and Federal Highway Administration in the redevelopment of Sunday Market Square completed in February. (See "Times Square Dedicated as Sunday Square Again").
Butler said chairs for the coffee shop had just arrived at 3 p.m. that day, but most of the crowd, and there were usually at least a couple dozen people present from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., enjoyed the mild evening outside on the Square in front of the coffeehouse.
Danica Davis, of Danica Art Gallery, said the crowd during the evening was sometimes slow, but at times picked up.
Christiansted's next Art Thursday is Jan. 5.
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