June 22, 2006 – St. John's July 4th Celebration swings into high gear this weekend with the selection of Miss St. John. The event begins Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Winston Wells Ballfield. "These girls are going to put on a good show," Miss St. John Committee Chairman Enid Doway said.
Doway added that the contestants – Gemma Ashley, Cerene Abramson, Kadicia Riviere and Moremi Aderohunmu – will be judged on a personal interview held Friday night. On Saturday, they'll be judged on their presentation speech, swimwear, international wear, talent, evening wear and an impromptu question-and-answer segment.
Ashley, 18, is a junior at Eudora Kean High School. She plans to be a fashion designer. Her parents are Anthony and Jacinta Ashley.
Abramson, 20, is a 2005 graduate of Eudora Kean. She plans to be a midwife and is currently working as an educational assistant. Her mother is Maxine Plaskett.
Riviere, 17, recently received her high school diploma from Cornerstone Christian Correspondence School. She works at Big Planet store in Mongoose Junction Shopping Center and plans to be an international model. Her mother is Leah Riviere.
Aderohunmu, 17, was the 1997 July 4th Celebration princess. She is a 2006 Eudora Kean graduate who plans to participate in Olympic-level bobsled competition during the fall before heading off to Savannah College of Art and Design in spring 2007. She wants to be a fashion stylist.
Her mother is Kim Holland and her stepfather is Glenn Charles.
Tickets to the Miss St. John Selection Show are $15 in advance and $20 at the door; children under 12 are $10. Tickets are available at St. John Drug and International Records and Tapes on St. Thomas.
The queen will be crowned at 1 p.m. Sunday in Cruz Bay Park at the start of Food Fair.
Sunday Is Food Fair and More
This year's Food Fair honors Guy Benjamin School head cook Gwenda Dagou. "She has participated in Food Fair since its inception," St. John Festival and Cultural Organization Chairwoman Leona Smith said. In addition to serving as head cook, Dagou has a booth at the July 4th Celebration Village.
Also on Sunday, boat races will be held at 3 p.m. Smith said that categories include kayaks, personal watercraft, remote control boats, and, of course, speedboats.
The July 4th Celebration Village opens June 28 in the parking lot across from the post office. This year the village is named Thomasville in honor of Nathalie Thomas, the Festival and Cultural Organization's treasurer.
"She's been on the committee for over 20 years," Smith said.
The Love City Pan Dragons and the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Program band will play for the opening ceremony. Jam Band will follow with music till the wee hours.
With a couple of exceptions, bands will play in the village from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The children's village, sponsored by the St. John Community Foundation, opens June 29 and runs through July 3, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., at the bulkhead adjacent to the V.I. National Park Visitors Center.
"The kids really look forward to this event," chairman Lonnie Willis said, adding that it is alcohol- and smoke-free.
The children's village features a variety of games, including strongman, ball toss, frog toss, and darts, as well as face painting, hot wheel racing, fake tattooing, and mask-making. Participants may also get their photos featured on posters.
Popcorn, snow cones and soft drinks will be for sale.
Willis said she still needs volunteers to staff the games. Those interested can call 693-8590.
On June 29, Ah We Band and P'Your Passion will play in the Village. Sweeter Band and Sugar Band will play in the Village June 30, while July 1 will see the Rising Stars and Pan in Motion play in the Village from 6 to 8 p.m., with a Calypso Show featuring the Imaginations at 8 p.m.
Calypso Show performers include King Derby, Mighty Pat, Super T., Sugar D, King Generic, King Spade, Coach, Biggo, Lady G, and Factsman. Imagie Soca Regade will perform the music for the Calypso show. Cool Sessions will play later that night after the Calypso show is over.
A gospel show will be held at 7 p.m. July 2 at Winston Wells Ballfield. Performers are St. John's Spencer Stapleton, Gospel Fungi Band and Jenesis from Tortola, Redeemed Brother from St. Thomas, and George Banton from Jamaica.
Tickets run $15 for adults and $10 for children.
Wrection Band and Jam Band will play in the Village.
July 3 is Cultural Day, with cultural demonstrations in Cruz Bay Park starting at 1 p.m. St. Thomas All Stars, Extaushun and Burning Flame with Onyan will play in the Village.
On July 4, the day begins with J'ouvert at 4 a.m.
The annual parade through the streets of Cruz Bay starts at 11 a.m. with St. John businessman Robert O'Connor Jr. serving as the grand marshal.
The entire event wraps up with fireworks over Cruz Bay Harbor at 9 p.m.
This is also the last night to party in the Village with music by Cool Session and Traffik with Shurwayne Winchester. Smith said the village will close at 1:30 a.m.
For those on St. Croix, Smith said Island Lynx will run a ferry from St. Croix to St. John on July 4. It leaves Gallows Bay, St. Croix, at 9 a.m. and will return after the fireworks conclude. Round-trip tickets cost $90 for adults and $80 for seniors and children. Tickets bought in blocks of five or more receive a $5 per-ticket discount.
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