Scores of St. Croix youth flooded the streets of Frederiksted Friday as the the Crucian Christmas Carnival Children’s Parade, a favorite feature of the Crucian Christmas Carnival, stepped off under a bright sky with occasional clouds that threatened rain but only cooled off the crowds.
Although it was scheduled to start at 10 a.m., the parade didn’t start moving until almost noon, but the participants didn’t seem to mind and most of the spectators – used to the carnival schedule – didn’t crowd the streets of Frederiksted until the parade started down King Street.
Miss St. Croix and Carnival Queen Khalifa Antoine and some of her royal court led the way, waving from the back of a bright red convertible. Queens, kings, princes and princesses from the elementary schools followed, wearing gowns and neckties, crowns and tiaras, also waved and charmed spectators.
The blue and white St. Croix Educational Complex Barracudas Marching Band paraded behind twirlers and drum majors stepping high and chanting cheers. Likewise, St. Croix Central High School, dressed in red and black and sassy fedoras, marched and danced to the school band’s music.
The steel pan bands included the Superior Court’s Rising Stars and the Lew Muckle Elementary school’s band of third to sixth graders.
Noel Wynter, band leader at Muckle School, said the students start practicing for carnival after school in early November and really look forward to participating in the parade.
There were the Sparkle Lite twirlers dressed in pink and gold sequined dresses and the St. Croix Majorettes strutted in blue and turquoise sequins.
The young girls in the UMB Twirlers danced down the street in dresses swirling with sequins and the boys and girls of Solid Elements were in blue and pink costumes with lots of feathers.
Jamal Drummond, Solid Elements costume designer and director, said this is the fourth year that children from various schools have marched in his troupe. No experience is required, just the desire to participate and learn the routine, he said.
“I love carnival and I love kids, so I decided to do it,” Drummond said.
After the high schools, Pearl B. Larsen Elementary had the largest troupe. There were students dressed in all white, pink, primary colors, purple and green and a group of boys, dressed in feathers and headdresses, who infiltrated the girls groups and danced with them.
The smallest parade entry was Alayah Watley, Miss V.I. Latin Pride princess, and Andrea Christian, chaperone and director of the program to build self esteem for Latin girls.
It wouldn’t be a Caribbean parade without mocko jumbies and the Guardians of Culture, dressed in traditional madras costumes, thrilled the crowd with their stilt walking and dancing.
Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett was at the parade with her family. She has attended several of the carnival events but the Children’s Parade is one of her favorites, she said.
“This is pretty important to me – the children. The camaraderie is great, but it’s really about showing support to the children who are doing positive things,” Plaskett said.