Ag Fair begins Saturday on St. Croix
Published: February 15, 2013
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ST. CROIX - The territory's annual family-friendly celebration of food and fun and all things agricultural is set to begin its three-day run on Saturday.
Gates for the 42nd Annual Agriculture and Food Fair of the Virgin Islands open at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Rudolph Shulterbrandt Agricultural Complex in Estate Lower Love. The opening ceremony, in the big tent, is set to begin at 10 a.m.
Organizers expect 25,000 to 30,000 people to visit the fairgrounds during the course of three days, said spokeswoman Clarice Clarke.
The event will be jam-packed with entertainment, exhibits, arts and crafts vendors and food - lots of food, Clarke said.
Livestock, fresh produce and value-added products, such as jams and jellies made from that produce, will also be on offer.
"There's so much activities to take part in," Clarke said. "Of course, the biggest thing is to see the wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables grown by our local farmers. And then there's the entertainment. It's a wonderful venue. You pay $6 to come on the grounds and you get top-notch entertainment."
As usual, the fair will have three different stages running.
The theme for Agrifest 2013 is "Agriculture: Grow, Eat, Live."
Clarke herself styled this year's poster, which is a collage of photos from previous Ag Fairs.
"We wanted something that reflected the theme," she said. "I wanted to do a collage showing what we are producing and a little bit of the fair, with the quadrille dancers and our wonderful cooks."
Honorees at this year's fair include Ruth D. Lang, for whom the fairgrounds will be named; the Thomas Family, for whom the livestock pavilion is named; Grizelle "Isoke" Davila, for whom the farmer's market is named; and Corliss A. Wilson Nathaniel, for whom the food and refreshment pavilion will be named.
The highlight of the opening ceremony will be the announcement of the Livestock Farmer of the Year and the Crop Farmer of the Year awards - which organizers try to keep top secret until the announcement.
Delegations from different Caribbean countries also will bring products, officials said.
Clarke said that when fairground booth space went on offer in November for Ag Fair, there was a lot of interest,
"In the first half hour, the booth spaces filled," she said.
"We're filled. I don't think there's any more room," Clarke said. "We even tried to get some extras where we could squeeze in."
Gates for Agrifest 2013 are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The entrance fee for each day is $6 for adults, $3 for children and $4 for senior citizens.
- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.