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The annual Mon Bijou J’ouvert on St. Croix kicked off at 7:15 a.m. on Friday morning, as police said they were awaiting the break of dawn before allowing the activities to proceed. Nonetheless, when it began, revelers, hundreds of them, near the La Reine Chicken Shack, were ready to party in the streets to the sounds of local bands, Digital Band and UMB Soldiers.
Young and the young-at-heart could be seen in the crowds or lining the roadside dancing as the bands passed by. Police were on ATVs and on foot leading what seemed to be a peaceful beginning to the festivities.
Up ‘de road’ they went. First, Digital Band with a handful of people, played some of their hits and Trinidadian Soca rhythms made their way past the Kingshill Post Office. Yet, it was UMB Soldiers that stole the show by default, as their songs were generally geared to the younger party-goers, a group that made up most of the people attending Friday’s j’ouvert.
However, as the massive crowds and bands made their way up to Mon Bijou, fights broke out. In fact, the j’ouvert was stopped a few times as police worked to quell the unrest and at one point, the K-9 Unit was called in to break up the brawls. In light of the violence, police ended the event early, but crowds could still be seen dancing in the streets at the height of day.
There were no reported injuries.
VI Consortium captured some of the scene. Have a look below:
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