Village honoree follows in his father's footsteps
Published: April 20, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - They may call him "The Ice Man," but after he officially opened the Carnival 2013 Village on Friday, honoree Frederick Anthony Larsen gushed only warm words about family and carrying on Virgin Islands traditions.
A father of six children, Larsen hugged his wife, Anna, onstage and talked about continuing in his father's footsteps by supplying ice to all the vendors at the Village.
"My father excavated a road for me that I need my children to pave," he said.
Larsen worked in his parents' grocery store, called T&P Grocery for Teddy and Pearla Larsen, growing up. He graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School in 1993 and became a father at the age of 21. He worked as an auto body repairman, a security guard, and a tax driver and chauffeur before founding Chi-co's Distributing Company, the territory's premier distributor of LeBleu Water, in 1999. He also owns the Chi-Co Limo and Limousine Service.
Larsen said his goal is to establish six businesses, one to pass on to each of his children.
"I change clothes at the office and rush out the door. I'm like Superman," he said about juggling family life, raising children and running his businesses.
Larsen, 38, said he feels incredibly honored to be the Carnival Village Honoree for 2013, especially given that the award typically goes to someone older.
"It's wonderful," he said. "I have been here doing this for over 20 years, since before I got a driver's license, since I was a young boy. I have been here every year working."
At 6 p.m. Friday, just before the opening ceremony, Carnival Queen 2013 Adisha Penn cut the ribbons for the Village and the Children's Village.
Carnival Committee Chairman Kenneth Blake reminded everyone that "Rain don't stop the Carnival, but violence will."
V.I. Police Commissioner Designee Rodney Querrard Sr. urged Carnival-goers to report anything suspicious to the nearest police officer. St. Thomas native Dean Fahie, who now lives in New York, said he travels regularly to St. Thomas for Carnival.
"Carnival is really a renewing of the spirit of life. It's about meeting old friends, meeting new people, socializing, eating great food, enjoying drinks, hearing music from both local and international talent," Fahie said. "There's a lot of spirituality behind it. It's a traditional thing from our ancestors, brought here from West Africa. Our ancestors have passed on. People have moved on to become angels. Now we must continue to pass this tradition on from the older generation to the children."
Peter Salisbury of Wilkshire, England, had less lofty reasons for attending. Just before the Village booths opened, he was inhaling the savory smells of seafood frying.
"It's just nice to be able to get local food. We have been here a week, and it's hard to get local food in all the hotels," he said.
Rebecca Kjaer, a 19-year-old student from a Danish traveling school called Hojskolendk, surveyed the brightly arrayed booths representing the Dominican Republic and islands across the Caribbean.
"It's nice to see how it combines so many different cultures," she said.
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