It’s Carnival baby!
Hundreds of revelers jammed the U.S. Customs parking lot on Thursday evening, June 28, for the opening ceremonies of the “Juju” Paris Village in honor of the young entrepreneur and festival music coordinator Camille “Juju” Paris.
Kicking off the festivities, Pastor Carlyle Sampson led the gathering in an invocation and the 73rd Army National Guard Band played lively renditions of the National Anthem and the V.I. March.
Paris’s wife, Janice, introduced her husband as a hard working young man with a passion for boats and music, who was inspired to join the Festival Organization to improve the musical lineup.
As a result, “the St. John village music is the best hands down and growing,” said Janice Paris.
Repeat St. Thomas Calypso King Wadable and his son, who are supported by Paris, performed renditions of their popular songs “A Little Performer,” and “Carnival Will Survive,” as a surprise to the village honoree.
Festival is an important part of the local culture and needs to be supported, Paris explained.
“I’ve been doing the music here for at least the last seven to eight years and the reason is because festival is part of our culture,” said the village honoree. “Help boost our festival and our culture.”
While priding himself for making sound decisions, deJongh admitted to making one mistake since taking office.
“The only mistake I’ve made since January is not booking a room on St. John from today through Thursday,” said deJongh. “If you have a room, I’m available to be a houseguest. You don’t even have to cook for me, we’ll just get food here in village.”
Miss St. John 2007 Jenicia Dalmida, St. John Princess Shadiyah Boynes, deJongh, Francis and Paris gathered at the entrance to the village and cut the ceremonial red ribbon officially opening Camille “Juju” Paris Village.
True to his word, Paris lined up an impressive schedule of performers. P’Your Passion Band and Cool Session Brass entertained the crowd into the night following the opening ceremonies.
Other music highlights in Parisville include Traffik with Shurwayne Winchester and Burning Flames with Onyan set to take the stage on July 3, and Alison Hinds who will perform on July 4.