April 20, 2006 — The 50th anniversary tribute to Elskoe and Associates Carnival troupe and a dancing green giant were named the 2006 Carnival Queen and King of the band Wednesday night. The presentation of the lavish, towering costumes came at the end of Culture Night, an annual showcase of talent and tradition by young and old Virgin Islanders.
Alaine Lockhart-Mollah won Queen of the Band in a creation called "Diamonds are Forever," a feathery confection featuring 50 tragedy and comedy masks commemorating the Elskoe troupe's 50th anniversary.
King of the Band perennial Darryl Donovan Sr. — representing the Infernos Carnival troupe — won with the costume "Umbayo: The Great Dance Warrior," an expansive display of light green pennants crafted in a halo around a towering character rising above Donovan's shoulders.
In the Junior King and Queen of the Band division, the UVI 4-H troupe won both crowns. Sundara Martinez featured the costume, "Queen of Hearts." Nyere Francis won the junior king title in a creation called "King of Fireworks."
The fireworks king wore an arched shield festooned with colorful stars and rimmed with red-and-white feathers. The queen of hearts won the audience over with a bouncy demonstration across the stage, demonstrating balance and control of a double-heart-shaped design she wore high overhead.
The modest crowd swelled as hundreds of spectators came to cheer the performance of family members performing in the show. As the evening drew towards the announcement of King and Queen of the Band, troupe members cheered the appearance of their contestants.
Jacquelle Dawson, who arrived late, said she was disappointed to have missed her favorite feature, the Tropical Masqueraders. "I like to see the masqueraders. I missed it. I came about half an hour late," she said.
About 30 visiting Danes dropped in on the free event at Lionel Roberts stadium to see majorettes, maypole plaiters, twirling clowns, elegant quadrille dancers and hear the songs of newly crowned junior Calypsonians.
They also got a glimpse of 2006 Carnival Queen Mystique Burke and two members of the queen's court, as they pranced across the stage dressed in the costumes they wore as part of their culture wear competition.
The cultural component of the show serves as a warm-up act for the presentation of the giant costumes, but the audience was well entertained by the night's house band, Milo's Kings, which set the mood with lively horns and rhythmic melodies.
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