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HomeNewsArchivesCarnival 2010 Wraps Up With Fireworks, Adults Parade

Carnival 2010 Wraps Up With Fireworks, Adults Parade

The Caribbean Ritual Dancers.From the sidewalk in front of Carnival Village to the rocky shoreline hugging the Legislature building, all the best spots on island were taken Saturday night as the bittersweet boom, boom, boom of fireworks exploding over Charlotte Amalie Harbor provided the perfect end to the day’s festivities, but a last hurrah for revelers.

The traditional fireworks always signal the end of Carnival on St. Thomas, and hundreds of residents either come out to watch or pack into the Village for Last Lap, storing up all the sights and sounds until next year.

This time around, the final festivities started only a few hours after the end of the Adult’s Parade, which stretched on for most of the day, bringing troupe after troupe into Post Office Square for one of the best parades seen in recent years. And while everyone was coated in a thick film of sweat by the time 6 p.m. rolled around, there was also no end to cheers and laughter that rang through the air when the last of the parade’s participants made their way down the final stretch of the route.

Maybe the music was a little sweeter this year, or the costumes a little brighter and more elaborate — it’s hard to tell. But once released, the Carnival bug was infectious, biting everyone from the performers in the streets to the little ones bouncing and waving their hands in their parents’ laps. A true "bacchanal," many said, as the men and women danced themselves down to the ground until the music stopped.

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All of the old favorites were out and about this year, with some troupes amassing huge numbers, broken up into as many as eight or nine sections that marched on for miles. Hugga Bunch, one of the last groups into the square, was more than 600 strong, coating the roadways in a steady stream of white feathers and rhinestones with an entry that was also accompanied by two bands — the awesome Jam Band and UMB Soldiers — and their trolleys full of followers.Twirling Divas plan their routine.

Many forget that the parade participants are judged on their performance when they come into the square, which is lined with bandstands stocked with dignitaries and Carnival officials. While their numbers were large, Hugga Bunch seemed to have all their moves perfectly choreographed, as the members moved in unison left to right and back to front when each section rolled in.

With some troupes, each layer of performers paired their theme with different costumes. Suits of blue and white, red and gold, green and yellow separated each section of the powerhouse Mystique and Associates, whose troupe celebrated "Tribal Mas" with a gathering of tribes from around the Caribbean, Central and Latin America.

The celebration of Caribbean and Latin roots was woven through this year’s parade, marked by the colors of the costumes. Bright oranges and vibrant reds were everywhere, such as in the outfits of the Charming Twirlers Majorettes, who lit up the pavement with an intricate flag and baton routine.

Puerto Rico's Joel Claudio helped spark a Michael Jackson tribute.And tributes were everywhere. One of the first groups in the square was the Sebastien Majorettes, who honored Michael Jackson in a medley of songs, including "Thriller" and "Remember the Time." At the center of the group was 19-year-old Joel Claudio, a student from Puerto Rico who’s training with the group but has been mastering his baton skills for more than the past five years.

Sebastien principal Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone said the tribute to the late King of Pop was born after his death, and is meant to show that Jackson’s music will forever live on. The group accentuated their routine with gold-sequined hot pants, white victory jackets and black fedoras, while Claudio wore the infamous white gloves.

Flying in from New York for the parade, V.I. Freshwater Association founder Helen George-Newton and her membership paid tribute to the "Roaring Twenties," with flapper-inspired costumes and pinstriped zoot suits.

"We wanted a real revival, not like the things you’ve seen before," George-Newton said as she danced around the square, eye candy for the many television crews and photographers out on the pavement.

A one-man act, Chester "the Mighty Groover" Brady also paid tribute this year to the "Fraco Man," with a cart decorated with fake fruit, ice and bottles of fruit flavor. Responding to the shouts from the crowd, Brady abandoned his cart mid-march to strut around the square, throwing his arms out to fans who chanted, "Groover, Groover."

"It’s been a good day," Brady said later. "Everything’s always wonderful during Carnival."

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