Feb. 12, 2004 – The V.I. National Park's 13th annual Folklife Festival invites the public to celebrate Black History Month Feb. 26-28 at Annaberg Plantation.
On Thursday and Friday, Feb. 26 and 27, hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 28, the hours are noon to 6 p.m. Admission to the site is free during this cultural event.
This year's theme is "The Many Faces of Masquerading," featuring two groups: the Hybrid Masqueraders from Montserrat and Masqueraders from St. Thomas.
Additionally, University of the Virgin Islands professor Robert W. Nicholls will talk about masquerading history in the Virgin Islands. He is the author of "Old-Time Masquering in the U.S. Virgin Islands," published in 1998 by the V.I. Humanities Council.
"I wanted the children to learn more about the history behind the clowns and Indians so they could have an appreciation for it," Denise Georges, a park ranger who organizes the annual event, said.
Masqueraders are prominent in carnival events across the Caribbean.
The Folklife Festival showcases the territory's traditional arts and crafts, herbal remedies, food, music, gardening, story-telling, and of course, masquerading.
Numerous craftspeople from St. Thomas and St. John are expected to set up tables to show and sell their wares.
While many school groups attend the event, it also attracts tourists and residents who want to know more about the territory's culture. "They'll see the diversity within our culture and renew their awareness of how diverse and accomplished the Afro-Caribbean is," Georges said.
For more information, call the park at 776-6201.
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