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WTJX Rings in the Holidays with the Return of ‘Taste of Two Islands’

The entrance to the Mark C. Marin Center was swarming as early as 5:30 p.m., with guests entertained by pan music and moko jumbies.

When the doors opened promptly at 6 p.m., the patio of the Mark C. Marin Center at Antilles School was already packed with eventgoers ready to swarm WTJX Channel 12’s “A Taste of Two Islands,” the network’s signature fundraiser.

Now in its 16th year, Taste is usually held in November, but with the venue in high demand, the network’s team opted for a month later as it was more important to get the event rolled back out, according to organizers.

“This would have been the 20th year, but we’ve had hurricanes and a pandemic, which made it difficult to host,” said Yvette deLabanque, one of the event’s founders. “But Taste of Two Islands started out as a way to bring all of our amazing culinary artists together, along with our supporters, so it’s something that the community always looked forward to experiencing and we’re just so glad to bring it back once again.”

Vegan cakes in all flavors topped one of the evening’s dessert stations.

And if the lines snaking around the restaurant tables were any indication, the community was happy to be there, taking in the delicious fare. From ital dishes from the Pressure Spot to vegan pistachio cake and everything in between, there were tastes for every palette, along with a wine and liquor station to compliment.

Event staff embraced the holiday theme with decor and costume accents.

Meanwhile, Master Moko Jumbie Yisreal Petersen and his group danced through the crowds while the St. Thomas All Stars Junior Steel Orchestra pounded the pans outside.

“It’s truly wonderful to have Taste back once again and to see the outpouring of support from the community,” WTJX’s Chief Executive Officer Tanya Singh said. “During the holiday season, there are so many events, but we were excited to just restart it, reboot it, and we’re grateful that everyone is here and having such a good time.”

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