The moon was still bright in the early morning sky Tuesday as music drifted up in the hills around Christiansted drawing people down to the Three Kings Day Crucian-Rican Tramp. Folks danced and cavorted down King and up Company Street until the sun was high in the sky, tramping to a breakfast served at Christian “Shan” Hendricks Market.
The ninth annual tramp began at 6 a.m. with Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights playing Christmas music from a flatbed truck. Hundreds of people marked Three Kings Day with the tramp and a free “Crucian Rican All Ah We Breakfast” provided for the community by more than 50 local cooks.
Wanda Bermudez, one of the organizers of the affair, said the breakfast of chicken soup, beef soup, salt fish, smoked herring, bread and roast pork is a Puerto Rican tradition. Her husband, Jun Belardo, was roasting a pig in the large Pork on Wheels smoker/roaster.
Elenore Johnson, a public relations coordinator for the breakfast, said the cooks donate and prepare food for 600 to 1,000 people. Scotia Bank also supported the affair, filling a huge table with aluminum roasters full of hot food.
Gloria Joseph, one of the original organizers of the breakfast, said it’s a whole community affair.
“We feel better when we give out food,” she said. “It’s a community affair and we give breakfast to everyone. This is always a great event that just keeps getting bigger.” Joseph added the tramp used go to the old radio station in Fort Augusta near Altoona Lagoon.
Three kings dressed in jewel-toned costumes that sparkled under the sun led the tramp. Luis Cuencas, Saúl Hernández and Johnny Wilson, Virgin Islands Puerto Rico Friendship Committee members, played the kings.
Committee member Pablo Rojas was dressed in gray and red pinstriped pajamas and red-rimmed sunglasses.
Committee member Domitila Vargas said, “This tramp is the best of the best of the best. It’s the best of all, geared to more mature participants, much less crazy, and the only Crucian-Rican tramp with a succulent free breakfast for all.”
Tara Dewese, a Crucian residing in Gainesville, Fla., said she loves the affair and never misses it. “It’s our culture,” Dewese said.
Digital Band and Heart Attack played for the crowd gathered at the market after the tramp.