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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesChildren's Parade Spotlights V.I. Youth

Children's Parade Spotlights V.I. Youth

A lot of children should have slept soundly Friday night after marching, dancing and waiting in the sun for the Crucian Carnival Children’s Parade to make its way through Frederiksted.

The parade started late and with several lengthy delays lasted almost six hours. By the end, small children were sitting on curbs to rest between stops. Mothers and other adults followed the troupes closely slipping ice and liquids into little mouths whenever they could.

Crucian Carnival royalty, dressed in their tiaras and finest, led the parade of about 30 entries. They were followed by queens, kings and runners-up of all sizes from several schools, also waving and smiling.

Several adult queens rode in convertibles, including Jessica Willock, Ms. Simply Sophisticated, and Miss Black Virgin Islands USA Princess Thalema Williams.

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The St. Croix Majorettes led the entertainment, prancing and spinning batons in their blue and gold costumes. Other twirlers included the Sparkle Lite Twirlers and the Arthur Richards Junior High Sunsetters Majorettes.

Celebrity Melani Amaro, who won the first season of “X-Factor USA” in 2011, rode in a stretch limousine when she was not walking and chatting with the public. Amaro was raised in the British Virgin Islands and was awarded a $5 million recording contract for winning the talent show for solo and group vocalists.

A parade in the Virgin Islands wouldn’t be complete without mocko jumbies and the Ricardo Richards School stilt walkers led the school’s troupe of bumble bees and bee keepers.

Steel bands included the Superior Court Rising Stars, the Elena Christian Simbas and the Arthur Richards Junior High School Steel Orchestra.

The marching bands from the St. Croix Educational Complex, St. Croix Central High School and the University of the Virgin Islands engaged the audience and showed that practice makes perfect.

As usual, the end of the parade was the most raucous, and some say fun, with professional bands leading a tramp of dancers. The UMB Soldiers and the Crucian Candy Land, the Stylee Band and Solid Elements Kids Fun Troupe rocked the back side of the parade.

Crucian Candy Land included candied-colored costumes worn by children of all ages, some with small, sequined top hats.

Jamal Drummond started the Solid Elements Kids troupe last year. He is an alumnus of John Woodsen Junior High School and began recruiting members at the school. This year there were 51 children from 3- to 13-years-old dancing with Stylee. Drummond makes and designs the costumes. He taught the routine to the children in just three weeks, he said.

While the crowd milled about on the sidewalks visiting with friends and family, government officials and dignitaries seemed to enjoy themselves during the afternoon.

Gov. John deJongh Jr. said, “Every year, at the Children’s Parade, the children begin making the day special for me. It started with a visit to Queen Louise Home.”

Several V.I. senators and commissioners joined the governor in the shade under the viewing stand. Lt. Gov. and Mrs. Gregory Francis walked the parade route shaking hands and wishing constituents “Happy New Year.”

The crowd socialized with food and drinks as well as music and dance. One of the most familiar vendors is Gladstone Browne, known as “The Fraco Man.” He has been selling his fruit-flavored ice drinks during the holidays and throughout the year for more than 20 years.

During Carnival Parades, Browne said he arrives at 4:30 a.m. and moves to Carnival Village after the parades. He said he may get home by midnight. During the year, Browne can be found at Sunny Isle Shopping Center selling Fraco. Browne said he doesn’t get to see much of the parades but “normally makes a day’s pay.”

Next to the Fraco truck, Fernella Browne, Gladstone’s wife, sells homemade pates, fried chicken legs, johnny cakes and her popular gooseberry stew. She tries to sell everything so she doesn’t have to carry it home, she said. Sometimes, however, prices are lowered at the end of the day.

“Quick sale and light profit,” Browne said.

Prizes for entries will be awarded in several categories on Sunday night at the Carnival Village, according to Clema Lewis, the judges’ manager.

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A lot of children should have slept soundly Friday night after marching, dancing and waiting in the sun for the Crucian Carnival Children’s Parade to make its way through Frederiksted.

The parade started late and with several lengthy delays lasted almost six hours. By the end, small children were sitting on curbs to rest between stops. Mothers and other adults followed the troupes closely slipping ice and liquids into little mouths whenever they could.

Crucian Carnival royalty, dressed in their tiaras and finest, led the parade of about 30 entries. They were followed by queens, kings and runners-up of all sizes from several schools, also waving and smiling.

Several adult queens rode in convertibles, including Jessica Willock, Ms. Simply Sophisticated, and Miss Black Virgin Islands USA Princess Thalema Williams.

The St. Croix Majorettes led the entertainment, prancing and spinning batons in their blue and gold costumes. Other twirlers included the Sparkle Lite Twirlers and the Arthur Richards Junior High Sunsetters Majorettes.

Celebrity Melani Amaro, who won the first season of “X-Factor USA” in 2011, rode in a stretch limousine when she was not walking and chatting with the public. Amaro was raised in the British Virgin Islands and was awarded a $5 million recording contract for winning the talent show for solo and group vocalists.

A parade in the Virgin Islands wouldn’t be complete without mocko jumbies and the Ricardo Richards School stilt walkers led the school’s troupe of bumble bees and bee keepers.

Steel bands included the Superior Court Rising Stars, the Elena Christian Simbas and the Arthur Richards Junior High School Steel Orchestra.

The marching bands from the St. Croix Educational Complex, St. Croix Central High School and the University of the Virgin Islands engaged the audience and showed that practice makes perfect.

As usual, the end of the parade was the most raucous, and some say fun, with professional bands leading a tramp of dancers. The UMB Soldiers and the Crucian Candy Land, the Stylee Band and Solid Elements Kids Fun Troupe rocked the back side of the parade.

Crucian Candy Land included candied-colored costumes worn by children of all ages, some with small, sequined top hats.

Jamal Drummond started the Solid Elements Kids troupe last year. He is an alumnus of John Woodsen Junior High School and began recruiting members at the school. This year there were 51 children from 3- to 13-years-old dancing with Stylee. Drummond makes and designs the costumes. He taught the routine to the children in just three weeks, he said.

While the crowd milled about on the sidewalks visiting with friends and family, government officials and dignitaries seemed to enjoy themselves during the afternoon.

Gov. John deJongh Jr. said, “Every year, at the Children’s Parade, the children begin making the day special for me. It started with a visit to Queen Louise Home.”

Several V.I. senators and commissioners joined the governor in the shade under the viewing stand. Lt. Gov. and Mrs. Gregory Francis walked the parade route shaking hands and wishing constituents “Happy New Year.”

The crowd socialized with food and drinks as well as music and dance. One of the most familiar vendors is Gladstone Browne, known as “The Fraco Man.” He has been selling his fruit-flavored ice drinks during the holidays and throughout the year for more than 20 years.

During Carnival Parades, Browne said he arrives at 4:30 a.m. and moves to Carnival Village after the parades. He said he may get home by midnight. During the year, Browne can be found at Sunny Isle Shopping Center selling Fraco. Browne said he doesn’t get to see much of the parades but “normally makes a day’s pay.”

Next to the Fraco truck, Fernella Browne, Gladstone’s wife, sells homemade pates, fried chicken legs, johnny cakes and her popular gooseberry stew. She tries to sell everything so she doesn’t have to carry it home, she said. Sometimes, however, prices are lowered at the end of the day.

“Quick sale and light profit,” Browne said.

Prizes for entries will be awarded in several categories on Sunday night at the Carnival Village, according to Clema Lewis, the judges’ manager.