After landing on St. Croix merely hours before, we were looking to immerse ourselves in the Crucian culture as quickly as possible. After flipping through the local guide, St. Croix this Week (published monthly -- on island time!), we found a list of nightly activities. On Mondays, the top pick was the Carib night at The Palms. The Plams is a resort that features a full service restaurant. On Mondays, they offer a buffet of local fare featuring, tasty rice and beans, fried chicken, BBQ chicken and ribs, rich mac and cheese, potato salad and coleslaw, as well as an assortment of cookies and tarts. The food was tasty but seemed to be fairly standard picnic food, so I'm not sure that was the main attraction that drew the crowd.
The main attraction -- the live entertainment! The throbbing Caribbean disco music came alive through the dancing of the "mocko jumbies" -- stilt walkers standing over 10 feet tall and dancing in gravity-defying moves to the rhythm. Mocko jumbies are a Crucian tradition, and were mesmerizing to watch. The party kept going with cruise-style line dancing that got everyone, adults and kids, on their feet to the Electric Slide, Cupid Shuffle, and the Cha Cha Slide. The dance leader did a good job of keeping the crowd engaged and bringing everyone out on the floor.
The highlight of the night for me was the death-defying performance by Kiki and the Flaming Gypsies. This was a "fire performance dance troupe" of 5 young women who literally lit up the night. They performed in groups of 2 or three to current pop music, and occasionally all 5 would come out to perform together. They used fire balls, fire batons, fire hula hoops and even swallowed firey swords! The fire would come so close to their hair and faces, that I have no ide why they are not disfigured from their efforts. They were very cute ladies, sporting unique outfits that showed off their trim physiques. We were quite tired from our flight, but could not tear ourselves away from watching!
It was a great way to start our week on the island. The locals are super friendly, and seem to consider it their civic duty to make sure the tourists are having a good time! If we were staying longer, I would go back on another Monday to make sure it was all real, and not just an island dream.
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