The Crucian Christmas Festival Organization has released the theme of this year’s activities as well as the general line-up of events for the festival, which will kick off on Christmas Day and run through Jan. 5.
The theme “Festival Fete Kingdom” is intended to pay homage to St. Croix’s African heritage while acknowledging the present-day festival revelry and pageantry, the organization said in its statement.
Patricia Lynch Irving will be the honoree for the Food, Arts and Crafts Fair, and the Festival Village, “Miss Alda’s Palace,” will be na.m.ed for Alda Francis. Food Fair and Village honorees are chosen by the committee based on the length of time they have been participating in their respective events.
This year Miss Alda’s Palace will feature more than 25 food booths and food trucks in the main village, placed in a semi-circle with the entertainment stage as the focal point. A variety of entertainment from the Caribbean region, the U.S. and local Virgin Islanders will perform nightly. The young and young at heart will enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere of the Children’s Village, adjacent to the main village, complete with a.m.usement rides, cotton candy, toys, snacks and even a photo booth.
The Festival Village is a place to gather nightly to see old friends and meet new ones. Some of the best cooks in the Virgin Islands will offer traditional Crucian food as well as cuisine from the surrounding Caribbean Islands. Goat water, seafood soup, kalalloo, roti and Johnny cakes will be a.m.ong the exotic dishes on the menus nightly. Traditionalists can grab a slice of pizza or some BBQ ribs, and wet their whistles with some ice-cold sorrel, ta.m.arind or guava drink.
All events in the village are free of charge. The village will be in the town of Frederiksted across from Fort Frederik on King Street.
On Christmas night the Village will open a Gospel show. The official opening of the village is on Dec. 26. Opening night fireworks show are slated for 8 p.m. Nightly entertainment will start about 8 p.m. and finish about 2 a.m. through Jan. 5. Reggae night will be on Dec. 29 and Cultural Night in Dec. 30.
On Jan. 2 revelers will gather at 5 a.m. by the stop light by the Frederiksted police station for the biggest street party of the year – J’ouvert. Big trucks loaded with massive speakers call the dancers to perform in the streets. Anyone can join in.
After Jouvert the Arts, Food and Crafts Fair is slated to begin at noon in the area of the Eliza McBean Clock tower on the Frederiksted waterfront. Colorful tents give shade to dozens of cooks and bakers offering with mouthwatering dishes, cakes, and pastries. Visitors to the fair can find some of the traditional alcoholic beverages, such as coquito and ma.m.ajuana, try a sa.m.ple and then buy the bottle.
Latin Night will be Jan. 3, followed by the Children’s and Adults parades on Jan. 4 and 5. After the Adults Parade, fireworks will again light up the sky at about 8 p.m. Then it’s a “last lap” fete with entertainment in the village until they close out another festival season at about 2 a.m.
Here is the general line up of Festival events as presented by the organizing committee.
Dec. 25, 8 .p.m – Gospel Show in Miss Alda’s Palace;
Dec. 26, 8 p.m. – Village Opening and Fireworks in Miss Alda’s Palace;
Dec. 29, 8 p.m. – Reggae Night in Miss Alda’s Palace;
Dec. 30, 8 p.m. – Cultural Night in Miss Alda’s Palace;
Jan. 2 – Jouvert, Frederiksted
Jan. 2 – Arts, Crafts and Food Fair, Frederiksted
Jan. 3, 8 p.m. – Latin Night in Miss Alda’s Palace;
Jan. 4 – Children’s Parade. Begins at Claude O. Markoe Elementary School at 10 a.m. and comes down King Street;
Jan. 5 – Adult Parade. Begins at Claude O. Markoe School at 10 a.m. and comes down King Street;
Jan. 5, 8 p.m. – Closing Fireworks, Frederiksted;
Jan. 5, 2 a.m. – Village closes