Home News Local news Santa and Tree Lighting Bring Winter Wonderland to Havensight Mall

Santa and Tree Lighting Bring Winter Wonderland to Havensight Mall

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Dec. 6, 2006 — Havensight Mall became a once-a-year wonderland Wednesday evening, with daytime crowds of shoppers giving way to loads of kiddies toted by doting parents, music, food, dancing and everything that stacks up to the annual spirit of Christmas.
Folks wandered among the mocko-jumbies, greeted old and new friends, danced along with some of the quadrille groups that somehow appeared here and there throughout the evening and munched on saltfish pates, johnnycakes and rum cakes.
In a patio by the water, the Prophecy Elementary School Quadrille Dancers showed their steps in bright madras plaid skirts, surrounded by an enthusiastic audience that kept the beat.
And then came Santa. He arrived about 6 p.m. with much fanfare, bells and songs. He was quickly placed on a little white stand and surrounded by two brightly dressed elves. He had his work laid out for him: The children stretched back around the block and beyond. As each youngster climbed back down the stand, the elves gave them a bright beach ball. After awhile the mall looked like a misbegotten beach, with discarded balls rolling here and there.
The tree was lighted, and everyone had a fine time chatting away. But nobody could seem to remember how many times they had attended the annual event, nor when it started.
I was involved in the first one, said Realtor John Foster. It must have started in the '80s.
Foster and his wife, Claire, had just finished a not very Christmaslike Chinese dinner at the Great Wall restaurant in the mall with their five grandchildren, ranging from two to nine years. We walked around the food stands later, said Foster, who is English, but, again, there was no bangers and mash.
Peter and Julie Najawicz with their two children, Olivia, 5, and Lilly, 1, stood in line patiently awaiting a visit with Santa. This is our third Christmas on St. Thomas, Peter said. But our second Christmas at the mall, said Julie. Last year I was busy having Lilly.
The BCB Steel Band livened things up for those standing in line. The Bertha C. Boschulte group stayed busy touting its CD. Shanice Martin, a BCB eighth-grader, said this was her second year playing at the event. She couldnt say what she liked best. She spread her hands, looked around, and with a big grin, said, Oh, just everything.
And that summed up the spirit of the evening. Jerry Cockrell and some of her troupe, the Mocko Jumbie Jamboree, weaved through the crowds surrounding the food court on the main entrance. Cockrell couldnt remember when the event started, either.
Oh, my God, she said. A long time ago — forever. Instead of stilts, Cockrell had her feet firmly on the ground in sneakers she had decorated with red, gold, green and silver spangles. Its the season, she said with a laugh.
Two female Santas hailed people to buy a $1 chance for the Caribbean Ritual Dancers. DJoi Francis and Tiffany Reynolds sported little red dresses, big smiles and long red-and-white-striped stockings. The outfits and the smiles worked their magic, as buyers soon surrounded the young ladies.
Nestled among the vendors was the Humane Society of St. Thomas booth, which offered a variety of animals for adoption. They were very easy to care for; they were all stuffed. The vendors sold everything from scented soaps to wood carvings to Gwens Handmade Historic USVI dolls.
Adding to the evening were performances by Cool Sessions Brass, Pyour Passion, Milos Kings and the traditional Mongo Niles Cultural dancers led by Carlos Woods.
The event is sponsored by Havensight Merchants and Professional Association, the West Indian Co., Ltd. and The Committee to Revive Our Culture.
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