March 18, 2006 – There were a lot of oddities to be seen at the 37th annual St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday. There were men in green skirts and platinum wigs with tall green hats perched on top. There were guys with green beards and painted green sideburns. There was a group of women with green angel wings pinned to the backs of their shirts. There were dogs with green beer mug sunglasses and green kerchiefs tied around their necks. And those oddball sights were not even in the parade – they were on the people waiting on the sidelines.
Downtown Christiansted was a sea of green, with residents and visitors donning green T-shirts, hats and layers of beads. Two ladies paraded up and down the streets hawking green Jell-O shots – "alcohol you can chew," as one patron described the concoction. On almost every corner cheerful vendors sold ice-cold Heineken beer from huge tubs filled with ice.
Hundreds of people came out to see the parade, which sometimes goes over the top with raucous fun. This year was a little tamer, although there was one man standing on the back of a parked pickup truck sporting life-like replicas of the top portion of a woman's anatomy.
The parade began around 11 a.m. from the Christiansted waterfront, proceeded up Company Street, across Market Square, turned right on King Street and back to the waterfront.
Families lined the parade route, sitting in beach chairs, roosting on walls or finding shade under an umbrella or a gallery. Little girls complimented their outfits with numerous green hair bows and babies slept in their strollers clutching green balloons on a string. The day was mostly overcast and muggy, but the sun managed to peek out a few times during the festivities.
The parade was led by the St. Croix Central High School ROTC marching band and rifle brigade followed by the St. Croix Majorettes twirling batons and green and white pom-poms.
The parade grand marshal, Mary Simpson, rode in a white convertible that had a stuffed leprechaun attached to the hood. Simpson merrily waved her green plastic bowler hat to the crowd.
Other entries included Crabbs Dive Club. From the back of a truck mermaids and an octopus threw candy and trinkets to the children. The float enjoined onlookers to protect the reefs. The St. Croix Festival Prince and Prince, as well as Mr. St. Croix and his court, were represented. The animal shelter displayed their animals for adoption on another entry, and talk show host Roger Morgan and crew rode another brightly decorated truck.
The parade brought out one political contender. Supporters of Ross for governor had a big entry, waving Caribbean flags behind a two story float. Edgar Ross could be seen waving and smiling from the float. Smuggler's Cove's float boasted "Proud to be Crucianized" while pumping loud rock and roll music from its entry.
As the last of the entries made its way through the streets, the bars and restaurants of Christiansted began to fill. The theme of the day continued with eateries offering a traditional meal of corn beef and cabbage and there was plenty of green beer for all.
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