Dec. 9, 2007 — Santa Claus was at the St. George Village Botanical Gardens Sunday along with hundreds of others getting into the Christmas spirit. If you didn't want to depend completely on him to answer all your Christmas wishes, there were more than 50 vendors spread through out the grounds to help. Vendors had a wide array of gift items — everything from books to pottery to jewelry to CDs by local artists.
Christmas Spoken Here was being celebrated for the 14th year in what is becoming a traditional holiday festival for many residents.
The Botanical Gardens kicked off the weekend with a gala fundraiser where Christmas trees were auctioned off on Friday. The trees, 10 of which were still on display in the Great Hall Sunday, sold from $500 to $1,800. Local companies sponsored the trees and residents decorated them. The Paletteers, a local artists group, decorated the tree that received the highest bid with miniature-framed artwork. The tree was a fragrant balsam festooned with a dark copper and gold ribbon, red and copper silk poinsettias, copper leaves with glitter and the miniatures.
There was plenty to do for everyone from garden tours to nursery sales. Musical entertainment was provided all through the day with Christmas music performed by choirs from Country Day, St. Croix Educational Complex, Good Hope School and Voices of Praise. Storyteller Janice Tutein enthralled folks with her old-fashioned tales. Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School Quadrille dancers danced their little hearts out for the audience packed in the Great House.
Children took part in activities in the Bodine Visitor's Center. They could have their pictures taken with Santa in his sleigh and they could get creative and make holiday crafts. Volunteers supplied the kids with green tissue paper and red pompoms to make wreaths or they could make red and green woven placemats.
Volunteers from the garden held a white reindeer flea market. "The flea market was a win-win situation for the giver and receiver," Margaret Bollinger said. The items left over were being donated to the Animal Welfare Center weekly flea market.
The food vendors offered the normal Crucian fare. There were pates, tamarind balls, and shish kabobs of shrimp, chicken and beef. To satisfy a sweet tooth, tarts, cakes and banana breads were available. At the Reyna and Things tent, Christmas coquito could be purchased. Josephine Williams, who was selling fried fish, chicken legs and johnny cake, was so busy she said she was finally able to take a little rest at 3 p.m.
Virgin Islands Honeycomb Winery had Sparkling Honey Sorrel and Mango Tangerine for sale by the bottle or by the glass. Guava berry rum could be purchased for $15 a bottle at Jane Meyers' table.
There was a wide assortment of vendors selling something for everyone on gift lists. Rosie Mackay was selling mocko jumbie dolls dressed like quadrille dancers in pretty, unusual colored madras.
Mariel J. deChabert-Percy, owner/designer for Eden South, was selling her original T-shirts with native fruits depicted on them. Mandy Thody had her ceramic sculptures for sale along with cute little ceramic "botanical garden babies" popping out of seeds from the garden.
Danica Davis had her artwork and original sterling jewelry for sale at her table. The "Best Garbage Man in the World" Vincent Hendrickson was selling cane juice and coconut water from the back of his pick-up truck, as he does at most festivals and Jump Ups.
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.