ST. THOMAS — The sun shined its light brightly all of Friday, as if to show its support for the territory’s youth playing Mas during the VI Carnival Children’s Parade showcase. And, unlike recent years, the turnout was respectable too, as residents have made it a priority to come out in strong numbers following recent declines in attendance.
The children, as in years past, did not disappoint. From various majorettes, the public high schools’ marching bands and even the Department of Education itself — which put on a dazzling display with multiple troupes and floats, each highlighting a different category of importance, including technology, reading and more — this year’s Children’s Parade delighted attendees in person and those watching from away on livestream.
The youth of private school Antilles put on a show as well, and the Superior Court’s Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra gave a performance that filled the Post Office Square with dancing and singing. In fact, all those who performed did their best to impress onlookers, who in turn show their appreciation with applause and other ovations.
Governor Kenneth and other local dignitaries, including Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett and Senate President Myron Jackson, lauded the youth while mentioning the importance of the children having the support of their elders. This being a general election year, gubernatorial candidates made their rounds as well, among them Allison Petrus, Albert Bryan and Angel Dawson.
The turnout and participation on Friday was another sign of the resilience of Virgin Islanders, who after surviving two Category 5 hurricanes in September 2017 — only seven months ago — are doing their best to keep an optimistic spirit even in the face of new difficulties brought about by the storms.
There were themes of that hardy spirit sprinkled throughout the parade; the song that received the most plays and used as the dance for multiple troupes, was a Calypso song speaking of the destruction of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and how with all their havoc, could not destroy carnival.
That toughness seemed to resonate with new diasporas who left the territory as a result of the storms. On The Consortium’s livestream, they spoke of not missing the carnival events next year, and how much they missed being home.
The event started about 10:00 a.m. and ran until 4:00 p.m., with about 26 entrants participating in this year’s show. Today’s Adults Parade is expected to have no less than 38 entrants, a number that is expected to grow by the time the parade starts.
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words.
I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.