Dec 18, 2005 St. Croix residents attending the Christmas Boat Parade in Christiansted harbor Saturday night has an extra bonus they were able for the first time to walk the new section of the waterfront boardwalk.
The boardwalk opened Saturday. It runs from the Mix Bar to the seaplane dock
Omer ErSelcuk, vice president for sales and service at Seaborne Airlines, said, "I am just really glad it is open." It was scheduled to have opened in July.
The crowd on the boardwalk was also treated to 20 gaily-decorated sailboats and yachts cruising by. It might have been the biggest crowd for this event in its seven years. John Farchette said he has gone to the Boat Parade most years and never saw a crowd this big. He called it "a very healthy crowd."
No incidents were reported as police officers from the bicycle patrol and Guardian Angels made their presence felt on the boardwalk.
Santa, with his Ho Ho Ho, could be heard making his way along the boardwalk. The Pan Connection was playing Christmas music as residents stop, chatted and exchanged season greetings.
The lights on the boat from SCUBA had lighting difficulty as its generator had problems. Viewers treated this as a special effects effort and let their appreciation be known with loud oohs and awes.
Resident Suzanne Bell said this was the first Boat Parade she attended and she was impressed with the way all the community seemed to come out and participate. Her husband Gene said, "This is such an unique event. You don't have events like this in Ohio."
Government officials have said that the final section of the boardwalk from downtown to Gallows Bay would start, as soon this phase was complete. Keith Richards, the governor's assistant for capital projects, said there was a meeting last week to see when exactly the final phase would begin.
The final phase will have a path that goes around the front of the fort and then return to the waterfront and run all the way to Gallows Bay.
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