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Folklife Festival Will Feature Craft of Boat Building

Feb. 9, 2005 ––The V.I. National Park's annual Folklife Festival. will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 22, 23 and 24 at Annaberg Plantation.
The theme is traditional boat building and commerce, park ranger Denise Georges said Wednesday.
"Not a lot of people know about this," she said.
She said staff from H. Lavity Stoutt Community College on Tortola are bringing over two hand-crafted sloops – the Moonbeam and the Youth Instructor – to show how boats used to be made.
Georges said that St. John residents and shipwrights Les Anderson and Mark Hanson will demonstrate boat building.
St. Thomas educator Leonard Richardson will discuss the relationship between the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands as well as the trading and commerce that came about as a result of boat building.
"We are one people," Georges said.
Storyteller Elaine Jacobs will tell the story of the St. Thomas schooner Fancy Me that sank in 1926 on its way back from the Dominican Republic. Georges said 59 people died in the accident.
As always, the event will feature numerous people who will demonstrate old-fashioned crafts. Some will have wares for sale.
Georges said St. Thomas doll-maker Gwendolyn Harley and St. John woodworker Avelino Samuel, among several others, will be on hand to demonstrate their crafts.
The event also features music by Smalls and the Music Makers.
Snacks and drink will be available for purchase.
The event usually attracts hundreds of school children from St. Thomas and St. John, but everyone is welcome.
It remains unclear whether the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy III will attend as previously announced. Park Superintendent Art Frederick said Wednesday that the park is unable to fund his trip as it previously planned, but said he understood other groups were trying to come up with the money.
Additionally, the Law Enforcement Planning Commission withdrew its financial support for St. Thomas events in light of news about Abernathy's criminal past, so it remains unclear whether Abernathy will actually visit the territory as scheduled.
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