Mocko jumbies, the Mighty Groover — this year pushing a fruit cart and dispensing poems — and the Love City Pan Dragons were highlights once again as the fun-filled parade wound through Cruz Bay delighting new-comers as well as veteran Festival Parade-goers.
Bright costumes and feathers impressed first time parade attendee, Maisie Loo.
“I’m having a ball,” said Loo, who was visiting from Georgia. “I love the costumes, the entertainment and the mood of the city. There is just a lot of gaiety.”
“Everyone is in such a great mood,” Loo continued. “In how many parades do you get to see so many feathers?”
Festival has become a tradition for long-time St. John resident Gary Emmons, who attended his 31st parade this year.
“You don’t experience St. John unless you’ve been to Festival,” said Emmons. “It’s part of the tradition here and it’s just a lot of fun.”
The St. John Brewers’ float was popular once again this year, as owners Kevin Chipman and Chirag Vyas handed out free samples of their brew to the thirsty crowd.
The Westin Resort and Villas troupe transported the crowd back to the stone age as they rocked out in animal prints and faux fur. The resort’s general manager David Yamada joined the fun donning a Fred Flintstone costume as he rode in a car straight out of Bed Rock.
Teepees and feathers were the theme of the day for the Caneel Bay Resort troupe which embodied Hopi Flute Dancers this year. Caneel’s managing director Nikolay Hotze showed his spirit in a feathered head-dress as he danced along with the troupe.
Towering mocko jumbies from the We and Dem Youth troupe beckoned the crowd to join in on the fun and even whisked a few adventurous souls down the streets.
Majorettes from St. Thomas and St. John entertained the crowds with intricate routines. Love City’s Middle Age Majorettes were on hand again having an infectiously good time. The members of the Shaka Zulu troupe were stunning in feathers and body paint.
The great weather continued throughout the afternoon and into the evening when a stellar fireworks display lit up the skies above Cruz Bay, wrapping up Jump Up and Congregate for Festival 2008.