June 20, 2004 Plates of tender conch, piles of fluffy johnny cakes, and a couple of dozen tables of this and that coupled with the crowning of Miss St. John, Tanja Powell, drew residents and visitors to Sunday's Food Fair in Cruz Bay Park.
Powell, 19, dressed in ivory, captured the crown Saturday at the annual July 4th Celebration Queen Show.
While Powell and her court drew lots of ooh and aahs, the food drew even more comments.
"We came for the fun of it," said John Williams, who was busy selling jerk chicken, dove pork and other assorted goodies.
At the John's Folly Learning Institute's booth, Joel and Mary Tidwell of Douglasville, Georgia were sampling the johnny cake.
"We wanted to experience the local culture," Mary Tidwell said as Beulah Dalmida Smith explained how it's made.
Tidwell and her husband are staying at Caneel Bay to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.
St. John resident Sonia Sprauve was busy selling hot sauces.
"I like taking part in the festivities. I like tourists and everybody to enjoy my hot sauces," she said, as she sold a few bottles to her latest customer, her daughter, St. Thomas resident Kimberly Boyd
While food was the focus, the number of tables selling jewelry, clothing, hot sauce, fruits, and soaps outnumbered the food tables.
"This soap is made with glycerin. It's very moisturizing, especially as you get older," St. Thomas resident Mary Mercer told customers.
Her soaps reflected the colors of the Caribbean bright and pale blue, hot pink, yellow, and green bars all vied for attention.
This year's Food Fair was named in honor of Ianthe Daniel, a long-time St. John resident who once ran a guest house, grocery and Daniel's Restaurant. Daniel was ailing and not able to attend the event.
While Food Fair is a time to eat and shop, it's also a chance for St. John residents to meet and greet. Oscar James was heading for a table to buy some crab and rice when he stopped to chat with some friends.
"I don't get it too often," he said of the crab and rice.
St. John resident Lorelei Monsanto was enjoying the shade and telling passers-by that she plans to challenge Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd for the at-large Senate seat in the November election.
Expounding on the territory's numerous ailments with Gary "Budda" Emmons and other residents, she said she sees that while policies are in place, there is no enforcement.
She also said that she's researched municipal government, but learned that the territory went from having a municipal council form of government to its current form because there were accountability problems with money.
The July 4th Celebration continues through July 5 with various events. It wraps up on July 5 with a parade through the streets of Cruz Bay and an evening fireworks performance.
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