Home News Local news Crucian Kaleidoscope Comes Down King Street

Crucian Kaleidoscope Comes Down King Street


Jan. 6, 2008 — At Buddhoe Park in Frederiksted the rows of spectators were filled ten deep, and that was just a small segment of the huge crowd at the Crucian Christmas Adult Parade Saturday. More than 40 entries, in a blaze of colors and pulsating music, came down King Street to thrill the crowd.
"We love the parade and would never miss this Christmas tradition," said Lin Thomas. "It was a great day." Thomas, like members of her family visiting from Florida and many others in the crowd, was all smiles.
Stalwarts in the party tradition were the Gentlemen of Jones. This year they had an Arabian-style castle floupe with women dressed like genies tossing out beads. The Gentlemen were in green, blue and purple toga-like get-ups, having a few drinks and cigars. The only problem was keeping the crowd back from their float, as so many people gathered on the street around the them that the marchers behind had only a narrow space to move forward.
The soca and calypso bands kept the people moving. Many not only had a tramp following them, but were augmented by freelance dancers along the way, showing they could get into the music too.
When UMB Soldiers band got to the officials' viewing stand, they invited Gov. John deJongh, Jr., to party by coaxing him into doing the "boozie walk."
Incredibly, the dancers and musicians still showed tons of energy when they reached the judges' stand just north of Buddhoe Park — close to three hours after their start at Claude O. Markoe Elementary School.
Leading the parade was Grand Marshal Willard S. John. John is the cofounder and artistic director of The Guardians of Culture Mocko Jumbies. The guardians are dedicated to preserving and promoting the African art of stilt dancing.
No parade or festival on St. Croix is complete without jumbies. This year, eight jumbies paid tribute to the masqueraders of yesteryear. The jumbies did some fancy legwork in new costumes of bright pink, green and yellow with streamers of multi-colored grosgrain ribbon and tiny-mirrored beads.
The Caribbean Revelers were covered in paint, some from head to toe. According to one of the revelers, the paint was used to ward off jumbies.
The Rigidims troupe's theme was "Crucian Sweet Tings," celebrating the Crucian talent of making delicious desserts. Queen of the Band Takisha Garcia, was dressed as a giant Vienna cake with eight layers on a silver cake stand. Dr. Cora Christian was dressed as a coconut tree. Ten of the women had big plastic-wrapped green and white peppermint candies as hats.
Popular with the children were the ladies handing out lollipops.
As usual, Hovensa had a large floupe with people dressed in bright shades of orange, pink, chartreuse, yellow and turquoise spandex costumes.
The theme was a "Romantic Kaleidoscope of Cultures." The main attraction was a peacock costume so large and cumbersome that a barstool was kept on hand for the costumed lady to rest on any chance she got. Her bodice was gold lame with a lavender satin skirt with swirls of red, orange and yellow marabou feathers. Completing the outfit was a blue-glitter bird's head and wings of white feathers.
Students from St. Croix Educational Complex High School were dressed as Caribbean birds and flowers. The boys had red and black feathers for wings and beaked head dresses. Some of the girls looked like ginger Thomas flowers in bright yellow. Others were hibiscus flowers with red silk hibiscus flowers sewn all over the costumes.
Even as the parade was winding down, more cars were pulling into the fields on the north side of town. The last night at the village promised to be a big one.
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