Carnival is right around the corner and St. John’s own L’Amour Carnival Troupe is eagerly preparing for the event.
Pamela Leverett-Love had the idea to create a troupe when she first attended St. Thomas Carnival 12 years ago. Growing up in Florida, she was no stranger to participating in parades, but nothing compared to what she saw in St. Thomas. This dream finally came to fruition in 2022.
When Governor Bryan announced that St. John would be having a parade in 2022 at the tail end of the Covid-19 pandemic and territory restrictions, Love saw a Facebook post calling out St. John for not having any carnival troupes.
“That same night, I created a rough sketch and posted it to see if I would get a response,” Love said. She sold out in two days and picked up several business sponsorships.
Love was three weeks out from the parade and had to consider supply shipping, costume construction, and troupe organization. “I know I drove our post office workers crazy, but everything arrived the week of parade,” Love said. “I worked straight through until the night before [the parade].”
Pam secured DJ Leng (who then secured a truck and generator. Rocky Lee (aka That Dope Henna Lady) created a dance video to send out to participants and the 2022 troupe was official. “I named the troupe L’Amour, which is French for love. My last name is Love and it fit my vision for my love of USVI culture and the people around me,” Love said. “I wanted a diverse troupe of women and men in all phases of life, in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The only requirement is to accept and respect the culture, and my men and women did just that.”
For 2023, Love has had adequate time to prepare and we get to see her at the height of her powers. This year, L’Amour’s theme is Peacocks of Paradise. “I chose this theme because of my love of peacocks – their demeanor and their mystery,” Love said. “They are proud but shy. They live to put on a display, but don’t let you get too close, and they’re beautiful!”
Once the theme was official, Pam knew that Gallows Point would be the perfect place to showcase her designs and film a promotional video with Island Media Co., as the grounds are always populated with peacocks. “I gave them my vision and they brought it to life, along with Facial Xpressions, our makeup artists,” Love said.
If you are interested in joining the troupe, there are still costumes available, but they are selling fast. Costumes can be ordered via their website: www.lamourtroupe.com from now until June 15th. “Because I am marketing, designer, and accountant, my cap this year is 75. It’s just me, and I have the hot glue burns to prove it,” Love said. “Hopefully next year, I will have a team. This has definitely been a labor of love for me, and I can’t wait to see what I created on parade day.”
DJ Avalanche will be providing the music. Sponsors for this year’s troupe currently include Antares Property & Hospitality, Skinny Legs, Salty Mongoose, Ocean Surfari/Jeep Surfari, Bajo El Sol Gallery & Art Bar, FlyAway Charters, Gallows Point Resort, Viya, and St. John Catering. “We are going to have so much fun on de road,” Love said. “We look forward to seeing you all on July 4th. It’s a colorful and cultural jamboree for St. John Celebration 2023.”
“My goals for the troupe are to show love and respect for the culture and the people of the USVI. As a transplant, me and my family have found ways to embrace the culture here in many ways. I wanted my troupe to represent my embrace and for those who were born and raised here to feel it,” Love said. “The love is real and genuine and I’m here to stay.”