A member of the Eccentric Mocko Jumbies dances with the troupe’s coach during the Virgin Gorda Easter Monday parade. (Photo: ALLISON VAUGHN)

While sitting behind Buck’s Food Market in Virgin Gorda, members of the Filipino troupe Tribo Pilipinas talked and laughed as they awaited the start of the Easter Monday Parade.

They were among more than a dozen troupes taking part in the event, according to Reshawn Stevens, the public relations representative for the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival Committee. While many groups were based in Virgin Gorda, others were from Tortola or St. Thomas, Mr. Stevens said.

One of the dancers in the Tribo Pilipinas troupe, Joanna Gaskin, said she was glad her group of about a dozen dancers and six drummers decided to participate.

“We want to join them to showcase our culture as well and just have fun,” she said.

During the parade, she added, the troupe performed a dance depicting a battle between tribes in honour of the Filipino festival Ati-Atihan.


Dancers in the Tribo Pilipinas troupe sported traditional handmade costumes (above) while other troupe members kept the rhythm by playing the drums (below). (Photos: ALLISON VAUGHN)


Late start

Though the parade was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., it didn’t start moving until past 1 p.m. From the grocery store, the troupes headed down Lee Road, dancing and passing out beaded necklaces, easter eggs and other goodies to onlookers.

Buck’s Easter Bunnies, a troupe of children wearing rabbit ears, danced along the road or sat in an Easter-themed truck and passed out plastic eggs filled with candy and toys. Other troupes included the Eccentric Mocko Jumbies, which featured about 10 children who danced to music as their coach blew his whistle and performed along with them.

The parade ended at the Rupert Vanterpool Sr. Festival Village at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, where other festivities had taken place earlier in the four-day holiday weekend. This venue was new for the festival, and many agreed it was a good change because it was so close to the ferry dock in St. Thomas Bay.

“It’s such a perfect spot,” said Rupert “Buck” Vanterpool Sr., the village’s namesake.

Mr. Vanterpool, who was honoured for the work he does in his community, added that he hopes the festival can be held at the same venue in the future.


A performer walks along Lee Road during the Easter Monday Parade in Virgin Gorda. A new route this year took participants from Buck’s Food Market to a new festival village location by the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. Below, the Eccentric Mocko Jumbies perform during the parade. (Photos: ALLISON VAUGHN)


Other events

Other festival events were similarly well attended, according to Mr. Stevens.

Jamaican reggae-dancehall singer Christopher Martin headlined Sunday’s concert, which also featured Virgin Islands artists.

During an evening themed “Harmony in White Village Night,” attendees were asked to dress the part.

Though the event that night went later than planned, it drew a strong crowd, according to Mr. Stevens, who did not provide an attendance estimate.

“It was just good to see everybody coming together to celebrate and enjoy themselves,” he said.

Saturday’s concert, themed “Glow ‘N’ Fete Night,” featured soca music by artists including Trinidadian Nadia Batson, St. Lucian Teddyson John, and Virgin Gorda’s Pure Mass Band.

Other events held during the festival — which was preceded by a March 23 pageant — included the Rise and Shine Tramp, a cultural food fair, a car show, and the Wahoomania fishing tournament.


A performer walks in the Easter Monday parade alongside the designer of her costume. Below, a member of the Show Stoppers Dance Group from St. Thomas strikes a pose. (Photos: ALLISON VAUGHN)


‘Little time’ to prepare

The current Virgin Gorda Festival Committee was formed in January, so organisers had limited time to prepare, according to Mr. Stevens.

“We still got it done, and we’re happy with how a lot of it went,” he added.

Health and Social Development Minister Vincent Wheatley, who represents Virgin Gorda and Anegada in the House of Assembly, echoed his sentiments.

“I’m very pleased with the events,” he said. “I’m very pleased with the support we’ve gotten from Jost Van Dyke to Anegada. They’re all here celebrating with us.”

Mr. Wheatley participated in the parade, at times passing out water or dancing along with some of the troupes, including the Tribo Pilipinas.