St. John Rolling Out the Red Carpet for deJongh/Francis January 3

(Left to right) Cheryl and Lt. Governor-elect Gregory Francis, Cecile and Governor-elect John deJongh, Harry Daniels and Alvis Christian posed in Cruz Bay on election day in November.


Love City is rolling out the red carpet on Wednesday, January 3, for a day-long series of events to mark Governor-elect John de-Jongh and Lieutenant Governor-elect Gregory Francis’ inauguration.

While the official inauguration takes place on Monday, January 1, on St. Thomas, ceremonies on St. Croix are scheduled for Tuesday, January 2, and St. John will take center stage on Wednesday, January 3. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with an ecumenical service at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Cruz Bay followed by a Post-Inauguration Ceremony at the Frankin A. Powell Sr. Park bandstand at 11:30 a.m.

Brion Morrisette will act as master of ceremonies at thepark ceremony where the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Program Marching Kings, under the direction of V.I. Police Depart-ment officer Steven Payne, will perform for the dignitaries and the Love City Pan Dragons will play both the U.S. National Anthem and the V.I. March.

“We are featuring the kids,” said St. John Inaugural Festivi-ties Chairperson Kim Lyons. “Other ceremonies have adult bands and other people performing, but we have kids who can do these things and we wanted to feature them.”

Open House at Battery
DeJongh and Francis will then enjoy a private lunch with friends and family at Caneel Bay Resort before hosting an Open House Reception at the Cruz Bay Battery from 4 to 6 p.m. where the public is invited to come out and meet the new top government officials.

“Anyone who wants to meet the new Governor and Lieuten-ant Governor and their families is welcome to stop by,” said Joan Sparling, vice-chair of the St. John Inaugural Festivities.

Inauguration Ball
The exciting day wraps up with an Inauguration Ball at the Westin Resort and Villas, where live music will be performed by Cool Sessions. The night kicks off at 9 p.m. and will continue until 1 a.m. with dancing and plenty of hors d’oeuvres, according to Sparling.

“While there won’t be a sit-down dinner, there will be heavy hors d’oeuvres and no one will go away hungry,” Sparling said.

Tickets for the ball are $75 and are available at Connections in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay.

Heading the St. John Inaugural Festivities has been a lot of work for Lyons and Sparling, but both women said they were honored to be a part of the day’s events.

Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity
“I was asked by (John deJongh’s wife) Cecile deJongh to help out,” said Sparling. “I’ve been a major supporter of John deJongh since he first ran four years ago and I’ve known Cecile for years. It’s an honor and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be involved in the inauguration of such great candidates.”

“I’m very excited about the future of the Virgin Islands under the direction of John deJongh and Gregory Francis,” Sparling added.

“We’ve been working very hard to make the day a successful series of events,” said Lyons. “I have known John and Cecile deJongh for many years and when they asked me to be part of the St. John festivities I was thrilled and honored. It’s a lot of work but a thrill.”