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Young and Old Alike Flock to Governor's Christmas Party

Dec. 18, 2006 — Cruz Bay was awash in Christmas lights and good feelings Monday as Santa arrived for the annual governor's Christmas party.
"I'm here for the gifts," St. John resident Carishma Marsh, 10, said, "and to have fun and to get out."
Carishma was just one of several children who had the same answer when asked what brought them to Cruz Bay Park, along with several hundred other children.
"Presents," St. John resident Shakoi Mactavious, 8, succinctly said.
The kids waited patiently while the Police Department's Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Band marched down the Waterfront, while the St. Thomas Majorettes strutted their stuff (with candy canes instead of batons), the Love City Leapers jump-rope team entertained, and the St. John School of the Arts Vocal Ensemble sang a few tunes.
By the time the Love City Pan Dragons played "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," they were lined up by age to wait for Santa to make his way through the crowd to the bandstand.
Santa, accompanied by a bevy of elves mainly from Guy Benjamin School and the Gifft Hill School, arrived at the Waterfront in a float decked to the nines in holiday glitter and glitz.
While Santa and his gifts were the stars, it was also a night for St. John residents to socialize.
"I'm just here cooling out, to enjoy the excitement and to bring those kids to get some gifts," St. John resident Dee-Dee Bartley said.
St. John resident Debbie Marsh said she brought three of her four children to the event to enjoy the lights, the Christmas tree standing tall in the center of the park and the Christmas setting.
St. John resident Eddie Bruce was on hand with his three grandchildren.
Never short on words, Bruce spoke about the broader meaning of the annual Christmas gathering.
"This is a traditional affair. If we don't participate in our tradition, we won't have it," he said.
Bruce also spoke about the Christmas holiday's ancient roots in the winter solstice, but noted that even then, its purpose was to bring everybody together.
A few visitors joined in the fun. Mary and Gregg McLeod, on vacation at Caneel Bay Resort from their home in Denver, just happened upon the parade as they made their way through Cruz Bay .
Alas, Gov. Charles Turnbull, who sponsors the party, was not among those making merry.
But St. John resident Clemmie Moses was on hand with her granddaughter, Kalaeya Redding, 3.
"She's really enjoying it," Moses said, summing up the feelings of nearly everyone out for the night.
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