Feb. 14, 2005 It's that time of year when one of the last federal holidays of a string of holidays arrives President's Day before we all go back to focusing on work and business until the summer holidays begin to roll in, sort of the last official time off. Those with government jobs appreciate it for a number of reason, and others may appreciate it for yet other reasons. But for me, I look forward to it because it's the weekend of the year that St. Croix holds it annual Agricultural Fair. Just like clockwork the fair is held each year on President's Day weekend. I love St. Croix's Fair and I love to participate.
For those of you that have not been to a Caribbean Agricultural Fair, the fair is remarkable! It is very comparable to state fairs with farmers coming from all over the region for friendly competition in farming techniques; likewise, St. Croix's fair draws farmers from throughout the Caribbean.
This fair is an enjoyable and popular event, and given the number of attendees (30,000 over a three day period), its popularity is continuing to grow. Similar to medium to small state fairs, those attending can walk the grounds inhaling and experiencing the taste of unique and enticing local cuisine that far outshines the one held at the St. Thomas Agricultural Fair (which means this one is huge). There are also plenty of fruits and vegetables being showcased. And for those that are not feeling hungry, there are numbers of local vendors throughout the grounds displaying their talents for creating crafts that are unique and rich with culture.
For those that do not get an opportunity to get up close and personal with farm animals on a regular basis there are big cows, goats, sheep, and pigs on display for the brave and curious.
If you are not exactly comfortable with the larger farm animals, there are also plenty of the smaller sizes, such as turkeys, doves, pigeons, pheasants, and rabbits.
While it is nice to hear that the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Senators will be on hand to congratulate farmers and tell us all that all is well during the fair this weekend, unfortunately, reality would have it that most of the populous is sleeping through the revolution. Although, the Agricultural Fair is a large feather in the cap of St. Croix, many problems still remain, and remain unaddressed by our elected officials. Frederiksted Fishermen's Wharf is still not complete, sewage continues to flow into the streets of St.Croix, the high schools are not accredited, crime and unemployment remain high, WAPA and gas prices continue to rise, there are one too many pot holes, over-grown bush, and no cruise ships willing to dock on St. Croix.
Despite the many problems on St. Croix, the annual Agricultural Fair is the second biggest event (other than Carnival) which allows the island to shine.
This weekend will be a time of fun, education, and celebration of the territory's hard-working farmers that selflessly give of their time, talent, and love of farming. I invite each of you to join me for three days of focusing on the positive at the St. Croix Annual Agricultural Fair.
Editor's note: Lawrence Boschulte chairs the St. Thomas-St. John Board of Elections.
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