Sept. 8, 2005 When the Crucian Christmas Festival explodes on the scene in December residents will be treated to "A Global Mix of Cultures, Sounds & Lyrics for Festival 2005-2006." From the royal pageantry of shows to the lyrical battles of the calypso tents, homemade dishes served at the annual food fair, and the sparkle and shine of the parades, residents and visitors will be treated to non-stop fun during the festival season. Pre-festival events begin on Dec. 3. The Festival Village opens Dec. 29 and closes Jan. 7 after the adults' parade. See the complete festival schedule at the end of this article.
In January, the committee set out a call to the public to submit festival themes. The author of this year's theme, whose name will be released to the public at a later date, would be given one free pass to all festival activities as well as other valuable prizes, according to Richard Nicks, CCF treasurer.
For the third year in a row, the majority of the festival activities will be held in Frederiksted. Festival village, parades and related activities traditionally switch each year from Christiansted to Frederiksted. The last time the festival was held in Christiansted was in 2002. The following year it was held in Frederiksted. In 2004, the construction of the recreation center at the D.C. Canegata Ball Park and the renovation of Times Square near the entrance of Christiansted town influenced the committee's decision to keep the activities in Frederiksted.
Nicks said the festival queen show and the calypso eliminations and finals will be held mid-island at Island Center for the Performing Arts. "These activities will be easily accessible to everyone who wishes to participate in festival activities," Nicks said.
The annual food fair will also be held in Christiansted at the Christian "Shan" Hendricks market in Christiansted. "The food fair is a significant part of the festival activities," Nicks said. "Holding this event in Christiansted will bring the entire island into the festival spirit."
Nicks said the committee determined that Frederiksted has the optimum chances to bring the most revenue during festival. "Its the best plan until the executive branch identifies another site," he said. Nicks said the area used in Frederiksted for the village is larger, could hold more booths and vendors and therefore is the best place to hold the festival village. "We're in the red," Nicks said. "We are trying to make money."
In October 2004, Lenise M. Hunt, CCF president also said the Frederiksted location was a better venue for festival. (See "Crucian Christmas Festival to Relocate to Frederiksted "). Hunt is presently off island.
Housing, Parks and Recreation assistant commissioner St. Clair N. Williams thinks the area at the D.C. Canegata recreation grounds is suitable for festival. In a letter dated June 21 to Hunt, Williams informed her that work on the multi purpose recreational center is complete and could be used for festival activities.
"This building can serve to enhance accommodations for senior citizens, entertainers and dignitaries." Williams said the building has "modern bathroom facilities, changing rooms and a common hospitality area for guests." Williams said he contacted Romney Williams, festival village chairman, about the logistics of erecting the festival village.
In July, the festival committee went before the Legislature to present its 2006 budget. The testimony showed that the festival committee needs to continue to work on its accounting practices. (See "Senate Questions Christmas Festival Finances").
Despite the obstacles and setbacks the committee is looking forward to a grand Crucian Christmas Festival. "We are planning some exciting events for this year's festival," Nicks said. "Look out for them to be announced soon."
Here's the schedule of festival events:
Saturday, Dec. 03 – Festival kickoff tramp. Live music begins at 2 p.m. tramp begins at 6 p.m. from Frederiksted post office to Custom Square
Sunday, Dec. 4 – Prince and Princess Pageant 3 p.m. at Dorsch Center, Frederiksted
Sunday, Dec. 11 – Jr. Calypso Competition 6 p.m. at Island Center
Friday, Dec. 16 – Calypso Elimination, Pier 69, Frederiksted
Sunday, Dec. 18 – Miss St. Croix Pageant, 5 p.m. Island Center
Sunday, Dec. 25 – Caroling 6 p.m. Buddhoe Park
Monday, Dec. 26 – Beach Jam 2 p.m. to Midnight Fort Frederik Beach Coney Island rides open
Thursday, Dec. 29 – Festival Village ribbon cutting opening ceremony 8 p.m.
Opening night tramp 8 p.m. Frederiksted Post Office to Village site
Sunday, Jan. 1 – Watersports Day noon until Fort Frederik Beach
Monday, Jan. 2 – Caribbean Night 8 p.m. Festival Village
Tuesday, Jan. 3 – King and Queen of the Bands 8 p.m. Festival Village
Wednesday, Jan. 4 – Food, Arts and Crafts Fair 11 a.m. Christian "Shan" Hendricks Market, Christiansted. Cultural Night/Quelbe Tramp 8 p.m. Frederiksted Post Office to Village site
Thursday, Jan. 5 J'Ouvert 5 a.m. Hannah's Rest to Festival Village
Calypso finals 8 p.m. Island Center for the Performing Arts
Friday, Jan. 6 Children's Parade 10 a.m. Frederiksted
Latin Night (Noche Latina) 7 p.m. Festival Village
Saturday, Jan. 7 Adults Parade 10 a.m. Frederiksted Village closing
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.