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Changes Abound for This Year's Folklife Festival

Feb. 12, 2006 – The V.I. National Park's annual Folklife Festival, scheduled for Feb. 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., will have a different look this year.
Instead of Annaberg Plantation, the site used for many years, the festival site this year will be the ball field adjacent to the park's Visitors Center in Cruz Bay.
Park ranger Denise Georges said Saturday that transportation for school children coming from St. Thomas costs too much. She said they had to pay for the ferry boat and the bus to Annaberg — an expensive endeavor.
She also said that Annaberg doesn't have enough space to showcase the one-woman play and storytelling program planned for the event.
Georges added that the cost to hire the event's featured performers will limit the program to one day instead of two or three in years past.
She said is this year's theme.
Georges said she expects this year's program, whose theme is the celebration of black women, to be especially inspiring to the territory's "young ladies."
"They'll learn about the strengths and struggles of women," she said, adding that acclaimed actress and author Karen Jones Meadows will perform her two-hour play on the life of Harriett Tubman.
Georges said she expects the play will start at 10:45 a.m.
Kitty Evans Wilson is on tap for the storytelling program. Georges said Wilson will tell a story about slaves who came to St. John from Africa. In the story, they were sold to a plantation owner in North Carolina.
"She's really good," Georges said of Wilson.
According to Georges, Linda Brown will read poetry at this year's festival.
As always, the Folklife Festival will have food for sale and feature works by people like St. John wood turner Avelino Samuel, drumming, and scratch band music by Smalls and the Music Makers.
She said that sloops from Tortola will sail over to be on display. Georges said that since they will be tied up at the park dock, festival goers will be able to get an up-close look at them.
"They'll be able to sit in them," she said.
For more information, call Georges at 776-6201.
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