Dec. 18, 2002 – The holiday season brings paid holidays aplenty — for V.I. government employees, that is. And as soon as the season is over, the workers move right into the inaugural festivities for Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and his new lieutenant governor, Sen. Vargrave Richards.
The list of paid days off begins on Friday with non-essential St. Croix employees receiving administrative leave from 1 to 5 p.m. so they can enjoy the Crucian Festival Food Fair.
"Granting government employees administrative leave will encourage greater participation in the Christmas Festival," the governor said in a release. He said the festival will boost the island's economy and help promote understanding and appreciation of the island's culture. "It's also an opportunity for Virgin Islanders to play the role of goodwill ambassadors for the territory," he said.
Government employees across the territory get Christmas Eve day off as an administrative leave day. They also have Christmas Day and New Year's Day off as regular government holidays.
St. Croix workers are off Jan. 2 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee Crucian Christmas Festival that starts with J'Ouvert.
The inaugural festivities kick off on Jan. 6 on St. Thomas. Since that day is also Three Kings Day, a V.I. holiday, all government workers have the day off.
The day will start with an ecumenical service at Christ Church Methodist at 8 a.m., to be followed by a military parade along Veterans Drive at 10 a.m. and the swearing-in ceremony in Emancipation Garden at 11:30 a.m.
Dignitaries will greet the governor and new lieutenant governor at a 1:30 p.m. luncheon at Palms Court Harborview Hotel. The public is invited to a 3 p.m. Government House reception. Inaugural balls will be held that night at Marriott Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort and Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort and Spa, both from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Inaugural festivities move to St. John on Jan. 7, so St. John's government workers get the day off. The events begin with a 10:30 a.m. ecumenical service at St. Ursula's Episcopal Church. The public is invited to a 12:30 p.m. reception at the Battery. An inaugural ball begins at 7 p.m. at the Westin Resort.
On Jan. 8, St. Croix will celebrate the inauguration, and on that date, St. Croix government workers have the day off.
The St. Croix activities begin with an ecumenical service at Lord God of Sabaoth Lutheran Church at 8:30 a.m., to be followed by a military parade along King Street in Frederiksted at 10:30 a.m. and a post-inaugural ceremony at noon at Buddoe Park in Frederiksted.
Dignitaries are invited to a luncheon at 2 p.m. at Carambola Beach Resort. The public is invited to a reception at Government House in Christiansted from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The day wraps up with inaugural balls at Gertrude's Restaurant and Sunshine Mall, both from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
In announcing the days off, Turnbull said commissioners and agency heads will decide who is essential and who is non-essential, and that those who must work will not get holiday pay. He also said that anyone who normally works on a holiday, is an essential employee, or is on annual or sick leave will not get an administrative day off, nor will they be able to take a compensation day off later.
Turnbull said the Finance commissioner will review all payrolls submitted for these periods to ensure that they comply with his proclamation.
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