Economic Development Association plans Post Emancipation concert Friday on St. Croix

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ST. CROIX - In celebration of Emancipation Day, the Frederiksted Economic Development Association will once again present its Post Emancipation concert and other activities, including fireworks over Frederiksted.

Organizer Melody Rames said the event will take place Friday, with activities beginning when vendors set up shop on Strand Street at 3 p.m.

Activities will continue, with music starting at 6:30 p.m. - at no charge - and stretching into the night until 1 a.m., she said

Rames said the event is tailored for the entire family to take in the sights and sounds of the historic town during the celebration of a pivotal time in local history.

The entertainment line-up for the festival will included Tarco and the Crucian Rhythm; The Midnite Band; and Carl Gustave, who is following his appearance at the St. Lucia Jazz Festival.

Gustave is a heritage singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer who was born in St. Lucia, but grew up in Los Angeles. His musical style is a melting pot of blues, jazz, reggae, rock and soul. Gustave has been part of the St. Lucia Jazz Festival for the last five years, and he has performed on his own and with others at a number of major jazz launches in St. Lucia and around the region.

Midnite, from St. Croix, is a local roots band, headed by lead singer Vaughn Benjamin and his brother, bassist, keyboardist and musical arranger Ron Benjamin. Formed in the late 80s, Midnite returned to St. Croix in late 1999, after having spent some years in Washington, D.C.

Rames said the event is a jazz, reggae and soul concert with fireworks and a street fair.

Fireworks for the event will begin at 8 p.m. over the Frederiksted waterfront.

Emancipation Day commemorates the day when enslaved Africans on St. Croix's West End rose up, demanded their freedom and won it, along with freedom for all slaves in the territory.

On July 3, 1848, freed slave and skilled craftsman Moses Gottlieb, who also was known as "General Buddhoe," led the uprising.

Buddhoe and his comrade Martin King had organized slaves on St. Croix's West End plantations to march on the town of Frederiksted.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email

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