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2 MORE 'ST. JOHN SATURDAYS' TO GO, THEN NO MO'

This Saturday will be "St. John Saturday" as usual in Cruz Bay Park — except for the fact that it will be the next-to-last such occasion.
According to island administrator Julien Harley, April's monthly arts and crafts fair will be the last.
The fairs — which at one time featured exhibits and performances throughout the town — have been held on the fourth Saturday of each month for three years, according to one of the organizers, Cheryl Miller. What will apparently be the final one is scheduled for April 22.
At a public hearing Tuesday in the St. John Legislature Building conference room, Harley said the St. John Saturday fairs served a good purpose when they were started, soon after Hurricane Marilyn. Various groups of residents took part, organizers set a fee for exhibitors, and everybody paid. Then, he said, vendors began to drop out. He said he was told the reason was that the fees had been raised.
Miller, a local business owner and co-president of the St. John Action Committee, said she received a notice from Harley and the Licensing and Consumer Affairs Department asking for an end to the fairs. Under "new rules and regulations," she said, "no for-profit businesses can sell in the park." The Action Committee has federal 501(c)(3) non-profit status, she said, but "because we rent space to for-profit businesses," there is a problem.
She agreed with Harley that the commerce taking place on St. John Saturdays has changed from local artists, artisans and cooks selling locally made goods to itinerant merchants hawking Balinese shawls and other imported inventories worth thousands of dollars.
Miller said she had envisioned St. John Saturday as an event where "there would be all native arts and crafts. Then I had a guy tell me he was coming down to fill the park with African murals because he has been living here for two years." She added, "The whole vendor thing is a bag of worms."
But with two more events to go, Miller is planning to make the most of them. The Action Committee is dedicating this weekend's St. John Saturday to the island's senior citizens, she said, adding, "I'm calling it Treasures of the Caribbean."
The final event coincides with World Earth Day on April 22. Miller has helped organize St. John observances of Earth Day since 1990. She said this year's observance will draw several island institutions together with family-oriented exhibits and activities. After that, she said, she looks forward to concentrating more on her own business, A Taste of Paradise.

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This Saturday will be "St. John Saturday" as usual in Cruz Bay Park -- except for the fact that it will be the next-to-last such occasion.
According to island administrator Julien Harley, April's monthly arts and crafts fair will be the last.
The fairs -- which at one time featured exhibits and performances throughout the town -- have been held on the fourth Saturday of each month for three years, according to one of the organizers, Cheryl Miller. What will apparently be the final one is scheduled for April 22.
At a public hearing Tuesday in the St. John Legislature Building conference room, Harley said the St. John Saturday fairs served a good purpose when they were started, soon after Hurricane Marilyn. Various groups of residents took part, organizers set a fee for exhibitors, and everybody paid. Then, he said, vendors began to drop out. He said he was told the reason was that the fees had been raised.
Miller, a local business owner and co-president of the St. John Action Committee, said she received a notice from Harley and the Licensing and Consumer Affairs Department asking for an end to the fairs. Under "new rules and regulations," she said, "no for-profit businesses can sell in the park." The Action Committee has federal 501(c)(3) non-profit status, she said, but "because we rent space to for-profit businesses," there is a problem.
She agreed with Harley that the commerce taking place on St. John Saturdays has changed from local artists, artisans and cooks selling locally made goods to itinerant merchants hawking Balinese shawls and other imported inventories worth thousands of dollars.
Miller said she had envisioned St. John Saturday as an event where "there would be all native arts and crafts. Then I had a guy tell me he was coming down to fill the park with African murals because he has been living here for two years." She added, "The whole vendor thing is a bag of worms."
But with two more events to go, Miller is planning to make the most of them. The Action Committee is dedicating this weekend's St. John Saturday to the island's senior citizens, she said, adding, "I'm calling it Treasures of the Caribbean."
The final event coincides with World Earth Day on April 22. Miller has helped organize St. John observances of Earth Day since 1990. She said this year's observance will draw several island institutions together with family-oriented exhibits and activities. After that, she said, she looks forward to concentrating more on her own business, A Taste of Paradise.