Dec. 27, 2003 – More than 5,000 revelers attended the opening of "Bradyville," the Crucian Christmas Festival Village, on Friday night. Residents and visitors were eager to partake in the native food and drink, ride the rides in the Children's Village and dance to the music of the Digital Band from St. Croix and the Jam Band from St. Thomas.
The ceremony was slated to begin at 7 p.m., but in true Crucian tradition, the ribbon cutting that marked the official opening of the Village started about 30 minutes late. On hand to cut the ribbon was Gov, Charles W. Turnbull; Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards; Lenise Hunt, Festival president; Miss St. Croix Rennisha Wickham and Ben Hur C. Brady, the Festival honoree.
"Bradyville" is named in honor of Ben Hur C. Brady, a Frederiksted native who has been involved in Festival for the last 30 years. Brady began working with Frederiksted festival in 1964, starting out by assisting some of the islands best cooks in their booths. In those early days, the village was located at the Frederiksted Fisherman's Pier; later the location was moved to the tennis courts north of the Frederiksted Fort, and then to its present location on the grounds of the Paul E. Joseph Stadium. His reputation as a master chef grew. In 1969 he opened his own booth and has had a booth in the Frederiksted Village ever since.
After the ribbon was cut, the dignitaries participated in a short ceremony on the festival stage. The governor expressed his holiday wishes: Happy Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, he said. He applauded the honoree, Brady, for his continued service to the community and to Festival and said it is because of people like him that our tradition and culture continues. The governor stressed his wishes for a prosperous New Year everyone in the Territory.
Lt. Gov. Richards remarked that Festival and Christmas are a time to come together, meet friends and family, and celebrate. He also commended Brady for his contribution to Festival. Also in attendance were Tourism commissioner Pamela Richards, St. Croix Administrator Gregory Francis, and Festival Queen Rennisha Wickham. Wickham urged everyone to be safe and have fun during the celebrations.
The Festival honoree, Brady thanked the Festival Committee for naming the Village in his honor. "It's not only for having a booth that I was given this honor, but it's also for the work I have been doing every year for Festival, and I am proud of it," Brady said.
With those words the booths returned to serving their guests, the music started, and the children ran to get more cotton candy and candied apples and one more ride on the Ferris wheel. Crucian Christmas Festival had officially begun.
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