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Festival Village Opens With A Few Bumps But Lots of Smiles

Dec. 26, 2008 — The power's out? A little rain falling? No problem — it's festival time!
The Crucian Christmas Festival Village got a slightly bumpy start Friday night, but the thousands who flocked to the site in Frederiksted still seemed perfectly happy.
An electrical problem plunged about half the village grounds into darkness just 10 minutes before the official 7 p.m. opening, and clouds dropped occasional bursts of rain. But that didn't stop the crowds from flowing in and enjoying the rides and the games and the atmosphere.
And then the rain went away, and a truck from the V.I. Water and Power Authority came and got the rest of the lights on — and suddenly festival was in full swing.
At the Foto Master booth, Karen Carty was working for her 20th festival.
"It's a great time," she said. "All the people come back and they want a photo to remember it by. It's fun."
Diana Thomas and her two children were enjoying their first festival while visiting from Estacada, Oregon. Thomas's husband, SinClair Thomas, is a St. Croix native who for years has waxed rhapsodically about festival on his home island, and this year brought the family to share it with.
"He's having a great time," Thomas said of her husband. "The smells, the sounds, the food. It's just like he remembered. Of course, he's an adult now, so it's smaller, but he's loving it."
His children, daughter Kayli, 10, and son Isaiah, 8, were also enjoying the festival, although they agreed the best part of the trip has been swimming in warm Caribbean waters every day while back home their neighbors are shoveling out from under a series of winter storms.
The Festival Village remains open for 10 nights, finally closing down on Jan. 4. This year's theme is "Showcasing Cultural Ties That Bind," emphasizing the many different cultures that have come together on the island to create the culture called Crucian.
In the meantime, there's musical entertainment every night at the Village, including Friday's appearance by Claudette Peters along with UMB Soldiers, Elizabeth Watley, Daddy Jones and Crew and DJ Ramplier.
The rest of the Village entertainment schedule is:
– Dec. 27 – Big Daddy and the 411 Band, Jam Time, Swinging Stars and DJ Mystic.
– Dec. 28 – Blaxx, Ricky T, Peter Ram, Biggie Ire, Hart Attak Band and DJ Will
– Dec. 29 – Cultural Night & Quelbe Tramp beginning at 7 p.m. from the Frederiksted Post Office, Complex Quelbe Band and Quadrille Dancers, XPress Band, Digital Band, Image Band amd DJ Young Brothers
– Dec. 30 – Latin Night – La Fuerza, Papucho y Su Grupo, Sabor Latino (STX) & DJ Mario
– Dec. 31 – Rupshun Band, Royal Vibes Band, Showtime Band and DJ Ramplier
– Jan. 1 – Caribbean Night Junior & Adult King and Queen of the Bands. Wayne Wonder High Voltage Band, Black Star Band, Red Eye Band and DJ Swain
– Jan. 2 – Phranchize Band, Stylee Band, JDPP Jammers and DJ Karl
– Jan. 3 – Bouncer Band, Stroka Band and El-A-Kru featuring Tizzie (Antigua)
– Jan. 4 – Exclusive Band, Outta Limits Band, Sweeta Band, DJ Poppy Pops and the Camp.
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