A huge crowd packed the Motu porch and waterfront street in Cruz Bay to ring in 2014.
The shoreline of Jost Van Dyke was a wall of boats for New Year’s Eve, but the Cruz Bay shoreline was a wall of people as St. John played to its biggest New Year’s celebrations ever with hundreds gathered on the waterfront.
The high-spirited crowd spilled from the packed bar Motu at Low Key Watersports overlooking Cruz Bay, filling the street and spreading along Cruz Bay Beach in front of the restaurants of Wharfside Village.
The official CNN coverage of the dropping of the ball in Times Square to mark midnight – which is an hour behind St. John – was playing on a giant projection screen wafting between two shoreline palm trees, as the crowd of hundreds of revelers celebrated fire dancers on the street and along the beach entertaining the crowds with swirling rings of fire.
The Beach Bar at Wharfside Village had live music and the party extended through Joe’s Rum Hut to the Waterfront Bistro. The center of town was crowded with celebrants moving from bar to bar and restaurant to restaurant. Small intimate parties continued well after dinner was served at La Tapa. Woody’s and The Other Side hosted others revelers avoiding the big crowd on the beach.
Carlos Di Blasi and his wife Maria hosted their annual intimate crowd of locals and staff at Morgan’s Mango with a DJ and dancing.
After midnight, St. John restaurateur Michael Barry and his wife Barbie were entertaining a small crowd at the first New Year’s party at their new Virgin Fire restaurant at Mongoose II with a big sound system and wondering whether they would try to compete with the big event on the beach next New Year’s Eve.
“We might give the staff the night off next year,” Barry said with slight chagrin, shortly before a steady stream of island residents filled the dance floor. As 2014 started, Virgin Fire was still going strong at 2 a.m.
There was minimum police presence and there were no reports of any disturbances or arrests at the Leander Jurgen Command of the V.I. Police Department in Cruz Bay.