Faithful attendance at the St. Thomas Carnival parades over the years guarantees spectators their share of rainy days. April showers filled the skies over Charlotte Amalie Saturday for a combined children’s and adult’s parade in honor of the 70th year of Carnival.
Twenty-six entries of royalty, majorettes, moko jumbies, acoustic and electric bands, and troupes streamed down Main Street towards Roosevelt Park on Norre Gade. Persistent showers kept the troupes back for more than an hour on Saturday, but once the showers turned to sprinkles, entries and performers headed up the road.
That didn’t stop members of the Sparklers Troupe from dancing in the rain while they waited near the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cathedral on Kronprindsens Gade.
But as Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. said, the Carnival spirit would overcome the weather. Young moko jumbies came into dance for senior citizens at their reviewing stand by Market Square, wrapped in clear plastic sheets from neck to waist. A children’s majorette troupe donned clear yellow raincoats over their bright red outfits. Others came into the square in costume, ready to fete despite the elements.
Performances followed one another uninterrupted. Crowds that patiently awaited them seemed to sprout like mushrooms in the rain.
One traditional troupe, the Gypsies, dispelled the gray of the day with head-to-toe rainbow tie-dye outfits. The ringing melodies of the Superior Court’s Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra and the Yard Vybes steel band captivated the crowd. One spectator, former calypso king Yellowman, emerged from the crowd to join one band and get in some steel pan licks of his own.
Popular dance bands rolled through the parade like they did, down Veteran’s Drive on J’Ouvert Morning, this time escorting troupes like Elskoe and Associates and the Hugga Bunch. A smaller but well-coordinated Shaka Zulu Troupe used the music of rhythmic drums to make a dramatic entrance.
The Traditional Indians danced in Post Office Square towards the end of the parade, escorted by costumed drummers.