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FRENCHTOWN SALUTES NEW YEAR AND NEW YORK

Jan. 1, 2002 – While The Big Apple was doing its thing in Times Square, a basketful of big and little apples marked the midnight moment in Frenchtown.
Hundreds of merrymakers cheered as more than 300 bright red Delicious apples dropped slowly to the ground in a wire basket rigged to a 30-foot pole decorated with poinsettias and holly.
Frenchtown's unique tribute to New York City was entirely within keeping for Alan Richardson, Frenchtown Civic Organization entertainment chair, who has inspired the floats of the Carnival Moby Dick Committee for years. The giant orange lobster perched atop the late Barnacle Bill's restaurant in the Sub Base was a Richardson creation.
Although the FTCO has held New Year's Eve celebrations in Frenchtown for 50 years, it was only two years ago that the group introduced the new tradition of, well, not exactly competing, but emulating the midnight dropping of the ball in Times Square, replacing it with an island-appropriate bunch of coconuts. Last year, they rigged up a basket of fish – yellowtail and ale wife.
This year Richardson; his brother Henry Richardson, FTCO president; and the organization decided to pay tribute to New York.
"New York is where everybody is focused," Henry Richardson said, "and we wanted to show them we care, too." And care they did, until 5 a.m. Tuesday under an almost full moon, jumping up to the rhythms of the Seabreeze Band led by Richard Berry on saxophone, munching on apples, drinking champagne and doing the electric slide.
Leo Moron broadcast the event over radio station WIUJ, all the while performing as master of ceremonies without missing a beat. After midnight he announced, "Okay everybody, get up, line up – we're going to dance, we're going to do the electric slide," after which he himself slid right into the crowd of about 100 sliding dancers. The band at one point got sentimental with the oldie "Blue Moon."
Berry, too, slid off the bandstand – to get in a dance with his wife, Sen. Lorraine Berry. "This is just the best party in town," the senator said with a smile. About 400 people from all over the island appeared pretty much in agreement with that opinion. Brooks Brown of Caribbean Travel, sporting a shiny gold hat, danced past raising a toast to Suzie Berecz and John Bertorelli of Pizza Amore. Judy and Michael Watson, Kenny Bell, Ken Huskey, Clement "Cain" Magras and FTCO stalwarts Louis Greaux and Pete Ledee all donned gold hats to join in the festivities.
Earlier in the evening, the FTCO served up a feast to all takers of traditional kallaloo, black-eyed peas and rice, potato salad and, of course, souse. "It wouldn't be New Year's without our kallaloo," Henry Richardson said later between dances.
As the new day and the new year dawned, the FTCO stalwarts headed home to sleep – perchance to dream up what will be dropped next year.

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Jan. 1, 2002 - While The Big Apple was doing its thing in Times Square, a basketful of big and little apples marked the midnight moment in Frenchtown.
Hundreds of merrymakers cheered as more than 300 bright red Delicious apples dropped slowly to the ground in a wire basket rigged to a 30-foot pole decorated with poinsettias and holly.
Frenchtown's unique tribute to New York City was entirely within keeping for Alan Richardson, Frenchtown Civic Organization entertainment chair, who has inspired the floats of the Carnival Moby Dick Committee for years. The giant orange lobster perched atop the late Barnacle Bill's restaurant in the Sub Base was a Richardson creation.
Although the FTCO has held New Year's Eve celebrations in Frenchtown for 50 years, it was only two years ago that the group introduced the new tradition of, well, not exactly competing, but emulating the midnight dropping of the ball in Times Square, replacing it with an island-appropriate bunch of coconuts. Last year, they rigged up a basket of fish – yellowtail and ale wife.
This year Richardson; his brother Henry Richardson, FTCO president; and the organization decided to pay tribute to New York.
"New York is where everybody is focused," Henry Richardson said, "and we wanted to show them we care, too." And care they did, until 5 a.m. Tuesday under an almost full moon, jumping up to the rhythms of the Seabreeze Band led by Richard Berry on saxophone, munching on apples, drinking champagne and doing the electric slide.
Leo Moron broadcast the event over radio station WIUJ, all the while performing as master of ceremonies without missing a beat. After midnight he announced, "Okay everybody, get up, line up – we're going to dance, we're going to do the electric slide," after which he himself slid right into the crowd of about 100 sliding dancers. The band at one point got sentimental with the oldie "Blue Moon."
Berry, too, slid off the bandstand – to get in a dance with his wife, Sen. Lorraine Berry. "This is just the best party in town," the senator said with a smile. About 400 people from all over the island appeared pretty much in agreement with that opinion. Brooks Brown of Caribbean Travel, sporting a shiny gold hat, danced past raising a toast to Suzie Berecz and John Bertorelli of Pizza Amore. Judy and Michael Watson, Kenny Bell, Ken Huskey, Clement "Cain" Magras and FTCO stalwarts Louis Greaux and Pete Ledee all donned gold hats to join in the festivities.
Earlier in the evening, the FTCO served up a feast to all takers of traditional kallaloo, black-eyed peas and rice, potato salad and, of course, souse. "It wouldn't be New Year's without our kallaloo," Henry Richardson said later between dances.
As the new day and the new year dawned, the FTCO stalwarts headed home to sleep – perchance to dream up what will be dropped next year.