Home News Local news Once Again, St. Patrick's Parade Deemed 'Best Ever'

Once Again, St. Patrick's Parade Deemed 'Best Ever'


St. Croix Majorettes march down King Street Saturday.Crucians decked out in green flooded the streets of Christiansted Saturday for the 42nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Celtic Crucian was the theme as 23 floats and performing groups marched down Company Street and King Street, entertaining the high-spirited crowd that lined the streets of downtown. The streets were packed an hour before the parade started and stayed that way until early in the afternoon.

The smell of traditional Irish corned beef and local roti was in the air as well as music from local marching bands, DJs — and one Rebecca Bean playing her bagpipe.

Many people set themselves apart in the crowd by wearing bright green wigs, top hats, kilts, beer glasses, and some girls were even wearing green clover garter belts.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone is green today,” said Dolores McGovern-Dunn, who has been attending the local St. Patrick’s Day parade since 1978. “This is always a happy day – you don’t see anyone not in a good mood,” she added.

One of the favorites for locals is the marching majorettes that dance and twirl their batons up and down the streets. Local resident Chuck Baxter, 60, said his favorite part is, “the skill of the young majorettes.” This was Baxter’s 21st St. Patrick’s Day parade, and he proclaimed it might have been the best one so far.

Others who have lived on the Island for a couple years like William Foley, 24, look forward to this event all year and say, “It’s the best day on St. Croix.”

Even the reigning Miss USVI 2010, Sheniqua Robinson said, “This is the most fun I’ve ever had in a parade.” She also added that her favorite part was, “giving the beads to the kids, but it was the adults rushing to the floats that wanted the beads even more.”

The bands and floats did not disappoint as five judges from the St. Croix St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee declared winners for seven different categories. Each winning group received a personal plaque at a ceremony held at Angry Nate’s at 6 p.m. Saturday night on the boardwalk.

When first-time judge Debbie Babb was asked what she was looking for during the event she said, “Creativity and a more collective collaboration from people of all areas.”

For the youth award, there were 10 groups competing with the highlights being the Majorettes and the high school bands from Central and Educational Complex. Central High School’s marching band wowed the crowd with their new moves and improved music as they won the award for Best Youth and Best Overall. The band members consisted of 50 students ranging from 9th to 12th grade. Some said afterward about their improvement that this year they had more discipline and were playing tougher music and that was the key to their success. Most will be back next year to try to win the award again.

The next four awards went to floats and were judged on their costumes, creativity/originality, music and greenest (or otherwise known as most Irish spirited). It was an intensive decision to make between the 13 competitors as the judges huddled for about 20 minutes tallying up all the points and finally declaring the winners.

Paddy’s Pub float filled with enthusiastic partiers won for Best Group and Most Original. The Isle 95 radio station float won for Best Theme as they paraded down the streets in a giant love train. Best Entertainment went to the Jell-O-shot-throwing Crucian Celtics. Finally, the Best Non-Human award went to the brigade of motorcycle riders that filled the air with noise from their tailpipes.

“This was a great parade and I am so excited about the way it turned out,” said Tish Mercier, who is the secretary for the St. Patrick’s Parade Committee. “Our goal this year was to have more local participants and I think we did that.”

All the proceeds from the event go to V.I. Special Olympics. The parade was also supported by the V.I. National Park, Department of Health, Waste Management and the V. I. Police Department.


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