April 9, 2006 – The faces of hundreds of children were lit up when Ronald McDonald paid a visit to St. Thomas on Saturday for the grand opening of the new McDonald's Restaurant in Lockhart Gardens.
The little ones and their parents eagerly waited for the fast food chain's mascot as he arrived at the Cyril E. King Airport about 11:30 a.m. The entourage of McDonald's sponsored little league baseball teams and other parents and children eventually made their way to the restaurant located a few feet away from its old location in Wheatley Center.
The much larger facility, complete with drive-thru and play palace, was filled to capacity as the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place, and children and adults alike competed for a chance to get their picture taken with Ronald.
The Chief Happiness Officer – Ronald's official title – performed a series of magic tricks to entertain the children. He involved the little ones in the performances and got squeals of delight when he put strips of paper in an urn and pulled out a series of flags, including the V.I. flag.
Many of the children also had the opportunity to win raffle prize drawings.
In his parting message to the audience, Ronald said, "If you want to make someone happy in this life, help them. I love it here in the Virgin Islands and will visit soon."
Keryl Connor, 11, enjoyed meeting Ronald. "I really liked the magic tricks," Connor said.
McDonald's fast food chain has three locations on St. Thomas, in Frenchtown, Tutu Park and Lockhart Gardens.
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