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May 3, 2012 / Nautical Mom

St. Thomas’s 60th Carnival

Last week, a lovely lady working in a gift shop, Mina, told us to stay for Carnival. Are we ever glad to have heeded her advice!

Today was the last day of a weeklong celebration that included parades, calypso contests, food festivals, and amusement rides. Yesterday we watched the children’s parade where various organizations present floats and dance troupes. The floats were somewhat unimpressively decorated, but included some very talented youth steel drum bands. The dance troupes wore elaborate feather and sparkle costumes. In the two hours we were there we saw approximately 10 groups perform, but way less than half the parade. Most memorable were a group of preteens on stilts, majorette club (with 3 age groups and more than 60 twirlers) and another team of modern dancers.

Today was the adult’s parade. The best part about this carnival is that it is surprisingly family friendly: both parades start just after 10 am. We arrived today just about 3 pm and it was nowhere near over. The first group we saw was the adult stilt troupe. In NY we’ll see a handful or rainbow suited giants dancing at a street fair. This was 20 or 30 identically costumed 10 feet tall acrobats, hopping, limboing, dancing and otherwise amazing us. We saw another excellent dance troupe in feathers and rhinestone bikinis that included every age and shape imaginable. Grandma had to take a few rests to catch her breath but she was out there! There was another group of Mexican dancers in ruffled dresses and mariachi suits.

The parade route was about 2 miles and lined 4 or 5 deep, so not like the thanksgiving parade, but still I wondered where they all came from. Especially since the parade itself had at least 3000 performers. When we left after 5:30, it was still going strong. Deafeningly so. We did some serious hearing damage with the loud base mixes and pounding steel drums.

Speaking of hearing damage, the carnival closed out with a Grucci fireworks display over the harbor. The barge was no more that 300 yards away from our boat. We had complete and unobstructed views of the exploding jester hats, dripping Tina Turner hair, and bursting ringed globes. Best of all, we were upwind with a delightful breeze to carry the smoke and ashes far from us. The last firework was a green 6 and a white 0 to signify the 60th. Can’t believe how perfectly they pulled it off, but it really was a no holds barred celebration this year. And despite the revelry, we never once felt uncomfortable or unsafe. Thank you St Thomas and those who encouraged us to stay.

Pictures from Saturday’s Adult Parade

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One Comment

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  1. creativegrammy / May 3 2012 8:28 pm

    what a great time at the carnival. wish I could have seen all those costumes love ,grammy

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