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OLE WIFE TAKE THE PLUNGE TO WELCOME 2003

Jan. 1, 2003 – Four years ago it was coconuts, silver coconuts; the next year it was fish; last year it was bright red apples and Tuesday night it was a fish trap full of ole wife as Frenchtown celebrated its newest tradition, the dropping of a basket from a brightly decorated pole to hail the New Year.
Modeled after the dropping of the ball in Times Square in New York, the local tradition is somewhat younger and a little more low key, but the spirit can't be beat. Allan Richardson, long the creative force behind the Moby Dick Carnival troupe and the Frenchtown Civic Organization's entertainment chair, invited one and all to take a fish. The fish, by the way, were frozen.
"Last time, we had blue runners, but this time, it's really local fish, ole wife," Richardson said above the sounds of the Seabreeze band, again encouraging everyone to take some.
"And dance," Leo Moron commanded. Moron broadcast the event over radio station WIUJ-FM, all the while performing as master of ceremonies without missing a beat.
The community members, or their mothers and fathers and uncles and aunts, have been celebrating New Year's in the lot by the late Bar Normandie for the past 50 years. And the festivities are just as lively today as they were half a century ago, including a mini-feast. This year, the FTCO served the traditional kallaloo, black-eyed peas and rice, potato salad and souse for all who were lucky enough to get there early in the evening.
There was plenty of champagne at midnight, too, as Richardson, his brother Henry, and FTCO hardies Pete Ledee and Louis Greaux bounded around the parking lot spraying and pouring the bubbly.
About 40 dancers were gliding and bowing to the electric slide, which seems to have replaced the more traditional dances in the last few years. Sporting silver tiaras while "sliding," were Jill Anderson and Cindy Hunt, while Hunt's 2-year-old daughter, C'Anne, and husband, Tony, looked on.
As the evening wore on into early morning, the band played, the dancers danced, the revelers reveled, and a weary reporter went home to sleep.

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Jan. 1, 2003 - Four years ago it was coconuts, silver coconuts; the next year it was fish; last year it was bright red apples and Tuesday night it was a fish trap full of ole wife as Frenchtown celebrated its newest tradition, the dropping of a basket from a brightly decorated pole to hail the New Year.
Modeled after the dropping of the ball in Times Square in New York, the local tradition is somewhat younger and a little more low key, but the spirit can't be beat. Allan Richardson, long the creative force behind the Moby Dick Carnival troupe and the Frenchtown Civic Organization's entertainment chair, invited one and all to take a fish. The fish, by the way, were frozen.
"Last time, we had blue runners, but this time, it's really local fish, ole wife," Richardson said above the sounds of the Seabreeze band, again encouraging everyone to take some.
"And dance," Leo Moron commanded. Moron broadcast the event over radio station WIUJ-FM, all the while performing as master of ceremonies without missing a beat.
The community members, or their mothers and fathers and uncles and aunts, have been celebrating New Year's in the lot by the late Bar Normandie for the past 50 years. And the festivities are just as lively today as they were half a century ago, including a mini-feast. This year, the FTCO served the traditional kallaloo, black-eyed peas and rice, potato salad and souse for all who were lucky enough to get there early in the evening.
There was plenty of champagne at midnight, too, as Richardson, his brother Henry, and FTCO hardies Pete Ledee and Louis Greaux bounded around the parking lot spraying and pouring the bubbly.
About 40 dancers were gliding and bowing to the electric slide, which seems to have replaced the more traditional dances in the last few years. Sporting silver tiaras while "sliding," were Jill Anderson and Cindy Hunt, while Hunt's 2-year-old daughter, C'Anne, and husband, Tony, looked on.
As the evening wore on into early morning, the band played, the dancers danced, the revelers reveled, and a weary reporter went home to sleep.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.