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Havensight Mall is Holiday Central for Young and Old

Dec. 5, 2007 — Thousands of eager visitors and residents braved traffic and dense crowds at Wednesday night's annual Christmas Tree Lighting at the Havensight Mall on St. Thomas, in search of holiday cheer, food, music and bargains.
Every year, the Havensight Merchants and Professional Association produces what is arguably the kickoff to the heavy-duty holiday shopping season on St. Thomas. Along with local discounts at participating stores, attendees get treated to local arts, crafts and delicacies, live entertainment for a variety of ages and tastes, and the opportunity to bask in the warmth of family and friends.
Touting something for everyone, organizers placed bands and performers strategically so that there were no musical clashes. Harmonious steel pan and a capella strains by strolling choirs gave way to quelbe, quadrille and Latin-tinged classics and oldies. Raucous soca, reggae and pop hits tempted the young and young at heart to wriggle and prance along as the night progressed. The area became a grand one-stop shopping enclave; Havensight Pharmacy and Gourmet Gallery catered to day-to-day needs in the midst of a dizzying array of holiday gift possibilities.
With the lighting of the tree at around 6 pm, perennial Santa and radio personality Irvin "Brownie" Brown took center stage with his own "elves," who opened case after huge case of gifts to distribute. The BCB Burning Blazers Steel Band pounded out traditional holiday tunes and hits while Santa Claus greeted the children with the seemingly bottomless trove of cuddly, fun and educational toys. Waiting patiently in the line that snaked around the shimmering Christmas tree were youngsters Victor, Kalitha, Elizabeth, Sydney, LaRika and Larik, all friends being shepherded by their chaperone Merle.
"We are in line for Santa Claus," Merle said. "We're having fun."
She and her charges were in luck: Attendants said there were toys for upwards of 1,000 children.
Enjoying the sounds of Spectrum Band, local resident Juan Campbell had not yet begun to shop, but he was already in high spirits.
"The best part is seeing old friends, and the music," Campbell said as he joined companions in spirited conversation. At the Scandinavian Shop, owner/manager Grace Black stayed busy greeting shoppers as they browsed the collection of native art prints, curios and gems.
"We've been around since 1952 on Main Street," Black said with a smile. "And we look forward to this every year."
Among those at the store were first lady Cecile deJongh, who was delighted with the family style atmosphere.
"It's so relaxing," she said. "There's lots of space, and it's nice to see the children out seeing Santa."
While well-established businesses soaked up the continuous flow of happy consumers, one notably new outlet to Havensight Mall was embraced by island guests and rediscovered by locals. The staff of Beni Iguana's, a longtime fixture in downtown Charlotte Amalie, was fully engaged in keeping its clientele in sushi. Hostess Zosha Esprit expressed pleasure with the response to the eatery's new locale.
"The event is bringing in a lot of business, and we're grateful," she said. "We got in a nice mix, some local, some visitors … it's good!"
A big fan of the arts and crafts is Emily Mosman, who was also taking in the selection at the Caribbean Marketplace. Her escort, Louis Evon, has an uncle on St. Thomas and he visits often.
"It's really interesting — you've got good vendors and great food," Evon said.
Milo's Kings held sway over a gaggle of music lovers, a few of whom occasionally broke away to duck into a store that had caught their fancy. Jonathan Gjessing of the Dockside Bookshop acknowledged a fairly busy evening, and Lonnell Gardiner of the Cream and Crumb Shop noted that while his visitors enjoyed a little of everything, ice cream was a top seller. Amid the array of cheesecakes, layer cakes, pastries and cookies, "The tourists and kids love ice cream!" he said with a grin.
More entertainment was provided by the Voices of Love Carolers, who serenaded throughout the night; New Herrnhut Men's Choral; Lockhart Quadrille Dancers, and St. John's Cool Sessions. This year's festivities were co-sponsored by the Havensight Merchants and Professional Association, West Indian Company Ltd., Cruzan Rum (distributed by Premier Wines and Spirits), MasterCard, the Butterfly Farm, Caribbean Gifts and Things, and the Committee to Revive our Culture.
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Dec. 5, 2007 -- Thousands of eager visitors and residents braved traffic and dense crowds at Wednesday night's annual Christmas Tree Lighting at the Havensight Mall on St. Thomas, in search of holiday cheer, food, music and bargains.
Every year, the Havensight Merchants and Professional Association produces what is arguably the kickoff to the heavy-duty holiday shopping season on St. Thomas. Along with local discounts at participating stores, attendees get treated to local arts, crafts and delicacies, live entertainment for a variety of ages and tastes, and the opportunity to bask in the warmth of family and friends.
Touting something for everyone, organizers placed bands and performers strategically so that there were no musical clashes. Harmonious steel pan and a capella strains by strolling choirs gave way to quelbe, quadrille and Latin-tinged classics and oldies. Raucous soca, reggae and pop hits tempted the young and young at heart to wriggle and prance along as the night progressed. The area became a grand one-stop shopping enclave; Havensight Pharmacy and Gourmet Gallery catered to day-to-day needs in the midst of a dizzying array of holiday gift possibilities.
With the lighting of the tree at around 6 pm, perennial Santa and radio personality Irvin "Brownie" Brown took center stage with his own "elves," who opened case after huge case of gifts to distribute. The BCB Burning Blazers Steel Band pounded out traditional holiday tunes and hits while Santa Claus greeted the children with the seemingly bottomless trove of cuddly, fun and educational toys. Waiting patiently in the line that snaked around the shimmering Christmas tree were youngsters Victor, Kalitha, Elizabeth, Sydney, LaRika and Larik, all friends being shepherded by their chaperone Merle.
"We are in line for Santa Claus," Merle said. "We're having fun."
She and her charges were in luck: Attendants said there were toys for upwards of 1,000 children.
Enjoying the sounds of Spectrum Band, local resident Juan Campbell had not yet begun to shop, but he was already in high spirits.
"The best part is seeing old friends, and the music," Campbell said as he joined companions in spirited conversation. At the Scandinavian Shop, owner/manager Grace Black stayed busy greeting shoppers as they browsed the collection of native art prints, curios and gems.
"We've been around since 1952 on Main Street," Black said with a smile. "And we look forward to this every year."
Among those at the store were first lady Cecile deJongh, who was delighted with the family style atmosphere.
"It's so relaxing," she said. "There's lots of space, and it's nice to see the children out seeing Santa."
While well-established businesses soaked up the continuous flow of happy consumers, one notably new outlet to Havensight Mall was embraced by island guests and rediscovered by locals. The staff of Beni Iguana's, a longtime fixture in downtown Charlotte Amalie, was fully engaged in keeping its clientele in sushi. Hostess Zosha Esprit expressed pleasure with the response to the eatery's new locale.
"The event is bringing in a lot of business, and we're grateful," she said. "We got in a nice mix, some local, some visitors ... it's good!"
A big fan of the arts and crafts is Emily Mosman, who was also taking in the selection at the Caribbean Marketplace. Her escort, Louis Evon, has an uncle on St. Thomas and he visits often.
"It's really interesting -- you've got good vendors and great food," Evon said.
Milo's Kings held sway over a gaggle of music lovers, a few of whom occasionally broke away to duck into a store that had caught their fancy. Jonathan Gjessing of the Dockside Bookshop acknowledged a fairly busy evening, and Lonnell Gardiner of the Cream and Crumb Shop noted that while his visitors enjoyed a little of everything, ice cream was a top seller. Amid the array of cheesecakes, layer cakes, pastries and cookies, "The tourists and kids love ice cream!" he said with a grin.
More entertainment was provided by the Voices of Love Carolers, who serenaded throughout the night; New Herrnhut Men's Choral; Lockhart Quadrille Dancers, and St. John's Cool Sessions. This year's festivities were co-sponsored by the Havensight Merchants and Professional Association, West Indian Company Ltd., Cruzan Rum (distributed by Premier Wines and Spirits), MasterCard, the Butterfly Farm, Caribbean Gifts and Things, and the Committee to Revive our Culture.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.