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“Come early, stay late, and full yoh belly up!” was the call to action by several platform guests Friday night as they officially opened the village at St. John’s July 4th Festival.

St. John is celebrating its 65th year of carnival by honoring the members of the volunteer carnival committee, who have given their time throughout the years. This year the village is named Membersville as a tribute to them. Next year, for the first time, the festival will be organized by the V.I. Department of Tourism instead of the volunteer committee.

The Love City Pan Dragons, led by the rising steel pan-star Ronald Lee Jr., began the evening’s entertainment as the crowd gathered in Cruz Bay. Pastor Carlyle Sampson gave the blessing, and Island Administrator Shikima Jones-Sprauve sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and the “Virgin Islands March.” Then Delroy “Ital” Anthony blew the conch in memory of the committee members who have passed away.

Dignitaries including Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach, senators, and carnival royalty shared the stage with committee members, who wore bright green T-shirts. Several spoke, but kept their remarks brief.

The original article can be found here

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