An article from the St. Thomas Source . . .
The Eagles Carnival Troupe first entered the 1976 carnival parade during the U.S. bi-centennial year, as the “Rebirth: A Gathering of Eagles.” The concept was that the Virgin Islands was being reborn under the American flag. The troupe won first place and didn’t look back for the next 25 years with some of the most ingenious and creative entries in the parades as well as the King and Queen of the Bands competitions.
Some of the more memorable entries during those years have included: The Gathering of Eagles, King Kong Meets the Super Heroes, The Bees (Our Culture – Sweet like Honey), Tales of the Arabian Knights, Regatta (Sailboats), A Carnival of Colors, El Dorado – City of Gold, Bible Stories, Atlantis Found and Jewels, and Tribute to a King (dedicated to Gene Cerge). This year the presentation is dedicated to and in memory of Johnny Aubain, a longtime member who died last year.
This year, as a precursor to the commemoration of the V.I. Centennial year as Americans in 2017, the Eagles will present “A Tribute to Our Cultures.” The first section, “Caribbean Influences,” will feature women in traditional dress with the flags of the country each represents. The headpieces were all locally made by artist Lori Abbotts and Linda Magner by using a new technology (3D Art) utilizing melted plastic strands to make headpieces.
The headpieces will represent the national birds, fishes, butterflies, flowers and symbols of the various countries. Note the flying fish of Barbados, the hibiscus (and coqui frog) of Puerto Rico, the blue marlin of the BVI, the golden eagles of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the swan (national bird) of Denmark, the Eiffel Tower of the French West Indian Islands, the water lily of Guyana, the Trogon national bird of Haiti, orchids from the Dominican Republic and the butterfly of the Dutch islands: St. Maarten/St. Martin (Netherlands Antilles).
The second section, named “American Influences,” are red, white and blue sparkling carnival costumes with each participant carrying an American flag. This section will be led by a mocko jumbi portrayed by Cecile Armour and will feature the “young people dem” with modern soca music and all the other American influences over the last 99 years. The troupe is organized by former Sen. Cain Magras and sponsored by Betsy’s Bar in Frenchtown and MSI.