The Adults’ Parade

The parade, a word and a touch

The Parade, a Word, a Touch -- 2011

These are two of a series of images from the Adults’ Parade — the culmination of the Christmas festival on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you enjoy a party, can find the shade, drink beer in the afternoon, and move to the earsplitting sounds of reggae, soca and calypso, you will like the Adults’ Parade and its genuine atmosphere of a community celebration.

But with all that, there is still something mysterious and inaccessible about it. Perhaps it is how the powerful family and community bonds and shared unspoken values manifest themselves in the heat and dust, the colors and sounds of the parade. And the setting — the ramshackle remains of an old colonial-era town — speaks to a shared past for those whose families have lived there for generations. Whatever it is, no matter how long one from the continent lives in the islands, there will always be a part of the culture that remains foreign and a mystery that demands respect.

St. Croix beauty queen

Beauty Queen -- 2011

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10 Comments on “The Adults’ Parade

  1. I’m really enjoying the shimmery light and luscious colors in these two images.

    The enigmatic suggestion of a secret conversation, imparted wisdom, is most interesting. And, the confident, wonderful smile of the beauty queen makes my day.

    It must be such a thrill to be there in person and watch this parade!

  2. Thanks so much, Melinda. I feel both of these images are very true to life. The colors and light are part of what define the Caribbean, visually at least. And the beauty queen had that slightly goofy but entirely genuine smile on her face. Not like those fixed Disneyworld grimaces that so often pass for a smile.

    Yes it is a thrill to see the whole community come out and celebrate together. The parade itself seems almost an afterthought! There are some things like that I miss…

  3. like visiting another world! the secrets of the caribbean, well kept, a world of boisterous colors and intricate histories. lovely!

  4. “If you enjoy a party, can find the shade, drink beer in the afternoon, and move to the earsplitting sounds of reggae, soca and calypso”

    I can do all those things!!!

    It would be nice to do a world tour of festivals: most festivals always brings out the best in most people!

  5. Hey, planetross! Then you’d like the parade!
    I agree. Festivals tell a lot about a community’s spirit and values. Thanks for visiting!

  6. I like how the people in the top shot have their backs to the camera and one is speaking into the ear of the other. It makes me feel like I’m looking on something I souldn’t be seeing and the bright red and yellow seems to indicate that it’s exciting and mysterious.

    Festivals can turn even the most dull places into fun filled parties. It always strikes me as strange how such places look after such festivals. Almost bereft and spent.

  7. Hi razzbuffnik! You are right about that first one… secrets and mysteries. Maybe we should look away.
    Your observation about places after the party is over is really true. Bereft and spent are good words for it, and almost a sadness.
    Thanks for visiting!

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