Children's Parade takes over Frederiksted


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ST. CROIX - Wave after wave in a sea of vibrant colors made its way down King Street in Frederiksted on Friday as the Crucian Christmas Festival Committee presented its Children's Parade.

The parade featured an abundance of glittering, twirling and strutting in the sun as the island's children sashayed in their colorful costumes and represented their schools or community organizations.

Neon greens twirled next to bright oranges, and reds matched steps next to blues as batons spun in the air when the first set of majorettes danced by the crowds lining the streets into the Festival Village.

Parade Grand Marshal Emile Henderson III rode atop a shiny black convertible, extending New Year's greetings to parade-viewers on the street.

The grand marshal leads the parade as the first official entry, and the honor usually goes to someone who is a youth or has contributed significantly to better the academic or social atmosphere in the community for the youth.

Henderson is an active member of the Central High School re-accreditation team and a moot court coach.

Henderson said he was overwhelmingly honored to be chosen and is blessed for every opportunity to serve the youth and his community. His father, who had been involved with youth sports and recreation, was a great role model, he said.

Festival Queen Cliaunjel Williams and first runner-up A'Jada Burke showed off their cultural wear as they both rode atop a float along the route.

Other queens, princes and princesses from across the territory also took part in the procession.

The festival parade maintained a steady speed as it made its way along the route.

Wearing bright blue-and-white outfits, the Marching Barracudas wowed the crowd with their high-stepping routines to the beat of their high-energy marching band.

They were followed by the St. Croix Majorettes, who brightened the streets with their bright royal blue and red outfits with empire collars to enhance their regal posture.

Claude O. Markoe School, Central High School and Global Ethic Pageant participants also gave the crowd dynamic performances as they shared their dance routines at varying intervals along the route.

Ricardo Richards School had a big showing, as close to 100 participants made their way dressed as showgirls with glittering dresses and headpieces who were accompanied by fine gentlemen in matching suits. They were grouped into sections representing royal colors of hot pink, turquoise, silver and purple.

The Sparkle Lites Twirlers also had rainbow-worthy colors as they performed their baton routines for the appreciative crowd.

Shannon Taveras was enjoying the parade from halfway down the route and said the colors were really popping. She said the selection of color schemes were what made the troupes so beautiful.

"All of the colors just wake you up," she said. "This is really a nice parade, and the kids are putting so much energy into their performances."

Alfredo Andrews School and Elena Christian Junior High School students also livened up the crowd as they went by in their costumes. Andrews School students followed a nicely decorated trolly adorned with bright steel pans as they made their way down the route.

The Simbas, from Christian School, showed off with their dancers and steel pan players on their trolley.

The Rising Stars rocked their trolley for the 60th Anniversary of Festival, as they pounded out popular tunes that had the crowd chiming in with lyrics.

The UMB Kids and the Solid Elements Troupes were the last two troupes.

UMB had sections that featured majorettes dressed in red and blue, a steel pan section and clowns dressed in multi-colored outfits and wigs and danced to the sounds of UMB Soldiers band.

Solid Elements is a new troupe that made a great showing with bright colors, lots of feathers and flags in each section.

The audience played a big part in the energy the children showed on the street before they got to the final walk at the reviewing stand where they did their routines for the judges.

Judges will also tally the votes for each song used as the groups performed and combine them with the votes from today's parade to determine this year's Road March Champion.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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