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Cruz Bay
Saturday, December 3, 2022


Sept. 2, 2002 — Labor Day was the day to see and be seen, particularly if you were in Coral Bay, St. John, for the town's annual celebration.
"That's what it's all about," St. John resident Dorothy Muilenburg said as she and her husband, Peter, shopped the handful of yard-sale stands selling this and that as well as cold drinks.
The yard sale strung out along Route 107 was not the major event of the day, however. Most of the folks gathered for about a quarter-mile along Route 107 and Route 10 came for the parade. It ran from near Love City Mini Mart to Guy Benjamin School ballfield.
The parade kicked off only about a half hour past its 11 a.m. start time, possibly a record for this event. Carolina Corral led the way with horses. Of course, the requisite beauty queens, music truck playing "Happy Birthday, Carnival," and a couple of ad hoc groups of people in varying degrees of costume filled out the parade.
Two groups of majorettes — one of them the vintage variety — made the trip.
The St. John-based Middle Age Majorettes had an encore performance — they were a highlight at Cruz Bay's July 4th Celebration parade — in their T-shirts painted with bare torsos and string bikinis.
"The bigger your butt, the better it works," organizer Deanna Somerville said, referring to the nearly naked posterior that graced the back of the T-shirts.
The biggest float belonged to Shipwreck Landing, a popular Coral Bay-area restaurant. About a half-dozen staff members and friends rode in a boat decorated for the event. As they made their way along the parade route, they threw T-shirts, necklaces and other gewgaws to those waiting with outstretched hands.
While most of the parade goers were from St. John, the event did attract some St. Thomians – like Ashley A. Richards. He said he and a friend spent the night at the Westin Resort before heading out to Coral Bay.
"We came to enjoy the festivities," he said.
As for St. John residents, to a person those interviewed said they came out for the parade.
"And I'm here to see my grandchildren," Coral Bay resident Yvonne Wells said, noting that they were members of the Love City Majorettes. She added that since she lived in the community, she wanted to support it by attending the parade.
Of course, no gathering this time of year is complete without a gaggle of politicians looking for votes. As the parade neared its end, a good dozen folks wearing T-shirts sporting candidates' names gathered under the shade. Others worked the crowd.
"I'm always campaigning, but it's not really a hard sell," said Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen, visiting with Aldria Wade.
Wade was busy tending to the fried fish, chicken, callaloo, johnny cake, and cold drinks for sale at the John's Folly Learning Institute's food booth. It was one of a half-dozen set up in the Guy Benjamin School ballfield.
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