Dec. 8, 2005 If it's Christmas, it must be time for Miracle on Main Street, which takes place Friday, Dec. 16 this year. Already strains of The Guavaberry Song are wafting out in the community on the radio, in stores, people are humming the familiar "Good mornin; Good mornin' I come for my Guavaberry. "
Everyone is getting ready for the once-a-year day. And everyone is getting ready for the 14th annual Main Street celebration.
Though the shopping is exciting, it's really a family and friends affair. It's the event when families, old friends, new friends, toddlers and senior citizens get together, dress up, exchange greetings, and share perhaps a glass of holiday cheer.
Thousands are expected this year, more than ever, according to Joe Aubain, St. Thomas -St. John Chamber of Commerce executive director. Last year more than 15,000 thronged on downtown streets and alleys, and on the Waterfront, according to the V. I. Police Department.
The event which used to be a nighttime affair has changed in recent years to encompass the entire day starting at 10 a.m. in Emancipation Garden, where the Committee to Revive our Culture will have more than 50 exhibitors displaying their wares locally made arts and crafts, johnny cake, sweet breads, guava tarts, fruits, plants, vegetables, and, if you are very lucky, a drink of Guavaberry, the islands traditional holiday toast.
And there will be music band and choirs throughout the day and night. Bringing the music will be the J. Antonio Jarvis Elementary School Choir, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School band and choir, the Caution Band, Lockhart Elementary School Quadrille Dancers and the Sea Breeze Band. That's just for the daytime openers.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m. the streets will be filled with mocko jumbies, the Antilles Steel Band, Territorial Court Rising Stars Steel Band, Hintz Music Academy, Milo's Kings, Encore Band, Inner Vision Band, UVI Family Life Steel Band, Mungo Niles Cultural Dancers and the Voices of Love.
Oh, yes, there's one more Santa. He will be making his appearance in front of Palm Passage where kiddies can climb up in his lap and whisper to him what they want this year.
Across from Palm Passage at 6:30 p.m. the Parade of Lighted Boats will sail around the harbor, decorated in fanciful light arrangements. Everything from a 50-foot powerboat to the littlest dingy will join the flotilla. Included in this year's participants are Captain Nautica, C'S Home, Carabella, Sea Tow, Motu and Jonie M. The Tourism Department, a parade sponsor, will award cash prizes to the fanciest boats.
Shops will all have their doors flung wide with special one-night discounts on jewelry, perfumes, cameras, cosmetics, and just about anything else you'd want. And the downtown restaurants which normally close their doors after dark will be open and offering special treats.
The event usually draws so many people, that neighboring restaurants along Veterans Drive benefit from the event, too.
The Miracle doesn't happen all by itself. It is a man-made miracle created by the dedicated members of the chamber and the Destination Downtown Committee who have had this on the drawing board for months.
This year's committee includes: Cerene Johnson, Fabric in Motion; Any Heikkila and Jessice Dinisio, Bellows International Ltd.; Maria Ferreras, International Plaza and Royal Dane Mall; Marna Green, Lockhart Properties; Kirk Rondon, Seasons of St. Thomas; Steve Baily, Chuck Kline Water; Kevin Baily, Bailey & Sons; Leslie Fisher, Caféé Lena & Spotts Stevens McCoy; Susan Chandler, Island Meetings & Incentives; Dorothy Elskoe and Carmen Staley, Committee to Revive Our Culture; Tricia Homer, Diamonds International; Ceclia Walters-Smith, CAHS-FLBA; and Joe Aubain of the Chamber of Commerce.
Parking and traffic restrictions will be posted as soon as they are available from the Police Department.
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