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Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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THEY'RE HERE!

There seemed to be some extra smiles and movement Wednesday on St. Thomas as tourists and celebrities started arriving in large numbers for the Sinbad Soul Music Festival this weekend.
Taxi vans darted here and there from the airport to the East End and all spots in between. Stores were bustling. And there is excitement in the air.
Janelle Zachman, owner of Going Seanile on the Waterfront, said, "I sold a lot of sunglasses today. It's been great. The concert-goers are trickling in. And they're spending money."
Zachman said she and her husband José, owner of Players at Havensight Mall, plan to attend the concert Sunday night.
Nancy Schneider, sales manager for Renaissance Grand Beach Resort, which is hosting the production and tourist offices for Sinbad, said, "They've been having a crazy day out front."
Schneider said the hotel is almost sold out for tonight and fully booked for the next three nights.
Celebrity sightings are rampant, and one local massage therapist was booked to give basketball great Magic Johnson a massage Wednesday afternoon.
Johnson flew in Tuesday night, somewhat unexpectedly, and, according to a hotel official who spoke on condition of anonymity, Sinbad gave up his suite of rooms at Marriott Frenchman's Reef to accommodate the basketball superstar.
Katrina Doumeng of Bolongo Bay Beach Club and Villas said her hotel is filling up too. So far it is arrivals who were booked in advance, but they expect to sell out, according to Doumeng.
Brian Postle, director of reservation sales at Marriott Frenchman's Reef, the host hotel for the event, said the hotel is "basically sold out. We have a few rooms -— hit or miss —- for the next few nights and a few at the end of the event."
Postle said that as the host hotel, the Reef will have nightly parties in the ballroom, starting at 10 p.m. and going until 4 a.m. Other post-concert parties are scheduled at other venues, including the Old Mill.
So for residents who frequently complain "there's nothing to do," the next few days will surely be the exception.

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