Mar 19, 2005 – The morning hit Christiansted hard and early Saturday as one could imagine happens when the sun hits the Irish isle on a cold, wet March morning.
By 9 a.m. the police were blocking off streets and forcing residents into the bypass mode.
The parade got started on time at 11 a.m. and people were dancing immediately. They were dancing in the alcoves along the street, and they were dancing in the street itself.
The color of the day was, of course, green. But it was hard to determine whether that color stood for the Emerald Isle or for Heineken.
Many of the floats were floating bars. Beers were handed out, sometimes it was even squirted from super-squirters.
Many of the floats had solid rock and roll bands on board. What can one do when faced with an aging hippy band on back of a pickup truck doing Pink Floyd at 11 a.m. on a down town street? Better grab a Heineken, a Guinness, even a Budweiser might work at this point.
Everyone appeared to be having a good time except the policemen who were trying to enforce rules about not throwing things from the floats.
The people on one float, which actually looked like a towed boat, sent hydrogen-filled balloons shaped like fish out over the crowd. Bags of candy acted as sinkers. Anyone who caught the fish got to keep the candy.
It can not be verified, but observations would indicate that these candy winners were later targeted by the people with the super-squirter beer guns.
The crowd was three to four people thick along King Street watching the marchers as they covered the last blocks to the National Park on the wharf.
The theme was more northern Europe than most island celebrations. The bands were not playing Quelbe and Reggae. They were playing the Stones, Pink Floyd and Chuck Berry.
And then it ended.
By 2 p.m. the streets were no longer crowded. There were a few more tourists than usual wandering around wondering if they were where they were supposed to be.
The youth hung in there. Their hangout area across from the Apothecary Courtyard on Company Street, which usually sees its busiest time at 2 a.m., was blocking traffic at 2 p.m.
But down on Church Street, where what is affectionately called the Roach Coach parks, a half dozen St. Croix Guardian Angels were hanging out, getting cokes and hot dogs.
They said they were getting ready to call it a day. Since nothing was happening, they were talking about the future – the April 10 graduation ceremony at Sand Castles. About a dozen St. Croix Guardian Angels were taking part in this first ever graduation.
The Irish morning was over in Christiansted.
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