Mini Ag Fair coming to St. Croix on Labor Day


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ST. CROIX - A scaled-down version of Ag Fair - featuring some of the things avid fairgoers love, along with some things they would never see at Agrifest - is on tap for Labor Day.

The Agrifest Mini Harvest Festival on Sept. 1 - with a theme of "Harvest Bounty, Bugs, Bikes & Bulldogs" - is designed to provide fairgoers with a little taste of Agrifest, while also raising money to help build infrastructure for the Ag Fair.

"This is our second year. Last year was a trial run, and it went over so well. The members of our community said it's about time," said Clarice Clarke, a spokeswoman for the event. "It's a wonderful time, just before the children go back out to school, and families are back from vacation."

The fair will be at the Agriculture Fairgrounds in Estate Lower Love, with activities concentrated toward the eastern end, Clarke said.

Fairgoers will be familiar with the farmers market and fresh produce; food and refreshment vendors; vendors selling crafts and value-added products; storyteller "Auntie Janice"; and the bouncers and games for kids.

But some other things at the Mini Harvest Festival are things that are not at Agrifest.

The "Bugs" in the theme, for example, are Volkswagon Beetles.

Clark said that a Volkswagen group from St. Thomas would be coming over to showcase their vehicles, along with the Twin City Volkswagen group from St. Croix.

Demonstrations on how to make repairs to a VW are planned.

The "bikes" part of the theme refers to motorcycles, and a group from St. John and also one from St. Croix will be exhibiting their rides, she said.

"They decorate their bikes. They have such different - I would say fantastic - bikes. They're going to be showing off what they have," Clarke said.

And the "bulldog" part of the theme refers to a big dog show.

Typically, dogs are not allowed on the Agriculture Fairgrounds - and especially not during Agrifest - but officials make an exception for the Mini Harvest Festival, Clarke said.

"That's one activity that I think the community will enjoy," she said of the dog show. "It's for any and all breeds of dogs, everything from Chihuahuas to bulls. We take fungi dogs and coconut retrievers."

Dogs coming for the show - and dogs just coming to hang out with their owners for the day - should be on a leash and get along with other dogs, according to Clarke.

The dog show is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Although officials hope those who bring their dogs will pre-register so they can get a better idea of what prizes to offer, pre-registration is not required, said Victor Petersen, who organizes the dog show.

There is a $10 fee for entering the dog show, he said.

General admission to the Agrifest Mini Harvest Festival is $5 for adults and $3 for children.

The event is a fundraiser for the Agriculture and Food Fair of the Virgin Islands and is organized by its board of directors, Clarke said.

"It's to help improve infrastructure for the fair," she said. "Every year, the board tries to put in something new."

This year, officials hope to use the funds raised to expand and improve the cultural area, according to Clarke.

Kewlie Band and DJ Swing are scheduled to provide entertainment for the event.

"It's going to be a wonderful activity. There's going to be entertainment, and we're going to have a wonderful time," she said.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Labor Day, Sept. 1.

Anyone who would like to help out can call Clarke at 692-4060 or call the V.I. Agriculture Department at 778-0997 and ask for Luther Renee. To pre-register a pooch for the dog show, call Petersen at 1-954-592-0113.

- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email jblackburn@dailynews.vi.

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