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Annual Mon Bijou J'ouvert draws throng of spirited revelers [The Virgin Islands Daily News, St. Thomas]
[December 28, 2012]

Annual Mon Bijou J'ouvert draws throng of spirited revelers [The Virgin Islands Daily News, St. Thomas]

(Virgin Islands Daily News (St. Thomas) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dec. 27--ST. CROIX -- Just after daybreak Wednesday morning, revelers took to the road for the annual Mon Bijou J'ouvert that began at La Reine Chicken Shack and tramped its way to Mon Bijou.

Two powerhouse trucks laden down with speakers and sound systems carried Digital Band and UMB Band along the route as a sea of people danced in front, on the sides and behind the bands.

Revelers were in high spirits as the early morning winds provided for a cool start of the tramp. The trucks inched slowly down the road belting out some of this year's hot Festival music mixed with some classic calypso rhythms and lyrics.

The enthusiastic bands and the high-energy revelers made for a great J'ouvert as bands belted out commands for the crowd to jump and sway. Just the sounds of the first two notes of some songs sent dancers into a frenzy as they waved their towels and rags and shirts and jumped in the street.

In between the two trucks was a drink truck selling water and soft drinks -- as well as lots of alcohol -- to keep the revelers hydrated. Many opted to consume their drink of choice, while others poured bottles of water over their heads to keep them cool as the heat of the day took over.

J'ouvert participants let their imaginations run wild as they strutted in their homemade costumes, which have grown to be a staple of J'ouvert. The costumes included many variations of cut-and-tied T-shirts, short shorts and mini-skirts and lots of spandex pants in all sizes and colors. Other revelers rocked colored wigs, feathered headpieces, oversize sunglasses, school uniforms, ballerina tutus, masks and hats.

Shevelle Carty wore a red spandex body suit with a yellow muscle shirt, yellow sneakers and a turquoise wig.

"This is J'ouvert fashion at its best," she said. "You can clash for J'ouvert, and it doesn't matter." Carty said it was her third year attending J'ouvert after returning from college, and she said she is preparing for the Festival J'ouvert next week.

"This is just the warm-up. All my girls are going to be home from the states next week, and we going to be on the road again for the big J'ouvert in the west," she said.

Some residents opted to enjoy the festivities from the sidelines as J'ouvert made its way past them and up into Mon Bijou.

The V.I. Police Department provided an escort for the trucks and had a high presence to ensure no violence erupted in the crowd.

Mon Bijou J'ouvert wrapped up about 11 a.m.

The Crucian Christmas Festival J'ouvert takes place at 5 a.m. Jan. 3 and travels from Hannah's Rest to the Festival Village.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email

___ (c)2012 The Virgin Islands Daily News (St. Thomas, VIR) Visit The Virgin Islands Daily News (St. Thomas, VIR) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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