Dec. 12, 2003 – "Oh, this is just fantastic!" Jim Berman said as his camera continued to click away at the parade of boats sailing along the Charlotte Amalie waterfront, each and every one covered in Christmas lights and holiday ornaments.
As each vessel neared the apron, the strain of Christmas carols and well wishes from those aboard the boats rose to a festive roar. Berman and his wife, Alice, natives of St. Louis, were thoroughly enjoying all the festivities of St. Thomas's annual Miracle on Main Street celebration, but for them the boat parade was extra special. As the final vessel in the parade approached, one last flurry of flashbulbs filled the air.
"The island is so vibrant tonight, it's wonderful," Alice Berman said as the vacationing couple crossed Veterans Drive and headed back toward Main Street.
For young and old, islander and visitor, Friday night's Miracle on Main Street in downtown St. Thomas had something for everyone — great music, delicious food, wonderful arts and crafts, and even the chance to shop a little later than usual in downtown stores.
For those with a sweet tooth, the food stalls set up by Emancipation Garden were the place to be. Offering sweetbreads, mango tarts, sugar cakes and Christmas cookies, the vendors were mobbed.
Those hungry for more than dessert weren't disappointed, either. Throughout the evening, the food vendors by the park were serving up hearty portions of such island delights as roast pork, conch in butter sauce and pigtail kallaloo.
For music lovers, the evening offered a host of seasonal sounds. Numerous steelbands showcased their vast repertoire of holiday favorites to the ever-growing crowds along Main Street, while up by Raadets Gade, Milo's Kings charmed islanders with its Caribbean stylings of familiar favorites.
By 7:30 p.m. the shops along Main Street and the entire downtown district seemed to be doing a brisk business. While many people traveled from shop to shop in search of great buys, most seemed content to linger in front of the steelbands or snap pictures of the mocko jumbies towering above the crowd.
Even though the evening was hot and sticky, the sentiment was unmistakable: On St. Thomas, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.
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