Festival enters high gear
Published: December 31, 2012
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ST. CROIX - Crucian Christmas Festival is about to jump into high gear this week as some of the most anticipated festival events will take center stage during the next few days.
As the community celebrates the Festival's Diamond Anniversary, organizers have been striving to make all of the events bigger and better than years before.
Festival began Dec. 8 with a mini-festival at Herbert Grigg Home for the aged and during the last few weeks, residents and visitors have been able to enjoy events including a night-time parade, a mini-Village at Canegata Ball Park, the Princess and Duchess Show, the Miss St. Croix Pageant, Soup du Cure, a mini-Village in Mon Bijou, the Calypso eliminations and the opening of the Festival Village.
Festival events are scheduled through Sunday, and big events, such as j'ouvert, food fair, the calypso finals and the big parades, have brought hundreds of people home to the territory for the celebration.
Raeven Nicholas says this is the first time she has been home for festival since she moved to Missouri seven years ago.
"It had just been too expensive, and I had been busy with work and raising my family, but now that my children are older, I decided to try harder to make it home for festival," she said.
She said that driving around has shown her how much the island has changed since she left, and she is thankful to be home and has been making the best of home-cooked, cultural foods, such as those that are staples of the festival village.
"My first day back, I went in on some boil fish and fungi, but other than that, when I am out I look forward to the pates and johnny cakes and fresh seafood," she said. "I just love the smell of the village with all the different foods."
Festival spokeswoman Melody Rames said that the events have been entertaining and well-attended. This year was the first time the committee ventured out of the routine to hold a mid-island Village, and the events during the three-nights in Mon Bijou were successful and incident free, she said.
"Everyone has been coming out and having a great, great time," Rames said. "We hope to see everyone out for the rest of festival."
The Festival Village schedule includes top entertainers from various musical genres, such as Bunji Garlin, Elephant Man, Onyan and the 3 Cylinders, Shurwayn Winchester, Kirwin DuBois and Khargo.
Rames said the V.I. Police Department has been effective in maintaining a presence at all of the events, and she reminded residents to remain safe, keep the violence at home and enjoy the Festival season.
The theme for this year's festival is "Live the Dream, Music, Mas and History - Crucian Christmas Festival 60th Anniversary."
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.