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Folklife Festival Thursday to Saturday

V.I. National Park’s 21st annual Folklife Festival runs Thursday through Saturday at Annaberg Plantation on St. John. Times for Thursday and Friday are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Saturday, the event will be held from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Park ranger Denise Georges urged, “Come. You could learn a lot, see a lot and taste a lot.”

Georges has organized the festival held in conjunction with Black History Month for all of its 21 years.

She said the event was a time to reflect on ethnic accomplishments. “To learn, to experience, to grow.”

The United Nations designated the year 2011 the “International Year for People of African Descent.” Discussions at the Folklife Festival will focus on strengthening national actions and regional cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent.

With that goal in mind, Georges said territorial librarian Ingrid Bough will discuss the importance of “putting pen to paper.” Chenzira Kahina of St. Croix will also make a cultural presentation.

Georges expects school groups to visit Thursday and Friday. Thursday’s programs are geared toward students in grades kindergarten through six, while Friday’s target students in grades seven through 12. Teachers are urged to have students take notes and wear hats to shade them from the sun.

While students are the focus Thursday and Friday, Georges also anticipates community and visitors will make their way to Annaberg on all three days.

The theme is Wake Up and Plant a Seed, and Georges said staff from the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service will provide demonstrations on growing plants.

Coral Bay Gardens owner Hugo Roller will also talk about plants.

Cultural bearers including Jane Johannes, Mario Benjamin, Sonia Sprauve, Bridgette Julius, Justin Todman, and many more will add their expertise to the programs.

On Saturday, the Indians and Masquerade Carnival Troupes from St. Thomas will perform, Georges said.

“Bring a flashlight, chair and bug spray,” she advised.

Smalls and the Music Makers will perform.

All three days will see vendors selling arts, crafts, food, and drink.

For more information, call Georges at 776-6201, ext. 239.

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