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Annual Crucian Christmas Food Fair: Delicious Cultural Fare

Jan. 5, 2005 – One of the most anticipated events of the Crucian Christmas Festival is the annual Food and Arts and Crafts fair. Judging by the crowds that came out Wednesday afternoon, this year's event exceeded all expectations. Under the bungalow of the Anne Heyliger Vegetable market, tables were piled high with delicious cultural fare. Kallaloo, roast pork, roast goat, fried fish and fungi, crab and rice, red pea soup and all the trimmings were some of the dishes that tempted the tastebuds of the crowds.
The annual food fair opened its doors around noon to hundreds of hungry residents and visitors anticipating a flavorful and filling lunch. Bradley Christian, food fair organizer, said this year's fair was a great success. He was pleased with the participation of the vendors as well as the attendance.
"We had over 30 food, pastry, drink, and arts and craft vendors," Christian said. Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Nights provided tunes during the early afternoon hours. Later on, the Image band took over. The crowd of people could be seen enjoying the traditional quelbe and calypso music. Several couples danced in front of the bandstand, some dressed in traditional madras ensembles. Adding to the entertainment were the St. Croix Heritage Dancers, Willard John’s mocko jumbies, the Frederiksted masqueraders and D.J. Sax.
The lines were long, but even dignitaries stood patiently in line for their favorite dish. Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards was served a heaping plateful of roast pork and rice. Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and Senators-elect Juan Figueroa-Serville and Pedro Encarnacion also sampled a few dishes.
"I was really hungry. I didn't eat all day," Figueroa-Serville said, digging into a plate of souse and potato salad.
Sen. Loraine Berry, dressed in a madras pantsuit, was also enjoying the Crucian dishes. Seen in the crowd were Senator-elect Craig Barshinger and Sen. Ronald E. Russell.
The Crucian Christmas festival has been in full swing with nightly entertainment in the Festival Village. Tuesday night "Williams Ville" showed its cultural colors. Festival-goers were treated to homegrown culture. In between intermittent showers a lively crowd tramped behind a quelbe band, danced quadrille and satisfied their hunger and thirst with native food from the booths that lined the village.
The tramp started about 8:30 p.m. with the original tradition-bearers, Jamsie and the Happy Seven, pounding out scratch band music. The band churned out well-known old-time music that got the over 200 revelers feeling the beat. The crowd was not the usual rowdy and uninhibited dancers; these revelers knew the meaning of "taking it slow" as they sashayed down King Street to the rhythm of the band.
The King and Queen of the band, Desmond Lawrence and Takisha Garcia of the Rigidims Troupe, were selected on Monday night. Also taking part in the competition were the Educational Complex, Central High School, Lockhart and Associates and WAPA Employees Festival Troupe.
J'Ouvert is set for 5 a.m. Thursday morning. The youth will take center stage in the children’s parade on Friday beginning at 10 a.m. The adult parade is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m.

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