for June 9, 1999
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USVI Tourism Commissioner Thanks Those Who Made Sinbad Soul Music Festival a Striking Success

U.S. Virgin Islands Acting Commissioner of Tourism Clement “Cain” Magras extends his sincere gratitude to government officials, his tourism staff and all those who helped to make the recent Kmart Presents Sinbad Soul Music Festival on St. Thomas a successful event.

“I am especially thankful for the leadership of Governor Charles W. Turnbull, which brought the dream of hosting such a high-caliber event in the U.S. Virgin Islands into reality,” Magras said.  “His dedication to this project will help the USVI economy in the short term and long term through the positive publicity it garnered.”

Magras also wishes to express his appreciation to all of the government-appointed commissioners for their support and active participation in this event.  “I am especially grateful for the efforts of Commissioner of Police Franz Christian in resolving traffic issues and mobilizing thousands of people on St. Thomas throughout the week.  His personal involvement helped to keep our island incident-free for the duration of the festival,” Magras said.  “I also want to commend Commissioner Ira Hobson and Assistant Commissioner Leon Battiste for preparing the Lionel Roberts Stadium for the event.”

Magras also praised the invaluable leadership and persistent efforts of three individuals at the USVI Department of Tourism – Manny Centeno, director of the Department of Tourism’s film office, who acted as the main liaison with the Sinbad operation; Tracy Ellis, a tourism staff member; and Luana Wheatley, on-island liaison for Martin Public Relations, the territory’s national marketing firm.

“Because of the tireless labor and detailed coordination of everyone involved, all of the components of the festival operated smoothly, much to the satisfaction of Sinbad, his staff and the visitors to our islands.  Pulling together many of the late-scaled efforts in a short amount of time, our staff members demonstrated the ability of this American territory to host events of national appeal, while showcasing our tourism product with excellence” Magras said.

“There are so many others who also donated their time and resources to ensure the success of this event.  Together, we represented the territory well and made a profound positive impression on potential  repeat visitors to our islands.  Additionally, this successful festival will serve as an example to similar types of events and will be used by this department as a selling tool to encourage other such events to come to St. Thomas,” Magras said.