“Diversity, Artistry, and Culture Galore” is the energizing theme for the 2023-2024 Crucian Christmas Festival on St. Croix! A plethora of events await locals, residents, and visitors alike. Featured events include beauty pageants, twelve nights of the cultural village, parades, a food festival, j’ouvert, street tramps, live musical performances from local and international artists, and much, much more.
Festival events will begin on December 26th with the highly anticipated Prince and Princess, Duke and Duchess, and Junior Miss pageants. The Calypso Monarch Competition and Miss St. Croix Pageant follow closely behind, taking place on December 27th and 28th, respectively. Since 1952, when the first Miss St. Croix Festival Queen was crowned, pageantry has been a fundamental part of Crucian Christmas Festival. More than sixty women have held this coveted title, with a new festival queen to be crowned in 2023.
The cultural village is another part of Crucian Christmas Festival that has been around since the beginning. Held in downtown Frederiksted, the Festival Village will open on Friday, December 29th with International Cultural Night powered by Cruzan Rum. The indelible Crucian culture will be on full display, with live musical performances from Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights, Xpress Band, Cool Session, and Spectrum Band. Each night dons a different theme to ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy. Other highlights of the village include Coney Island Carnival rides and games, plus numerous booths serving local foods and drinks like johnny cakes, patés, conch in butter sauce, seasoned rice, souse and potato salad, coquito, passion fruit juice, and more.
Looking for a taste of even more Crucian flavor? The Food, Arts, and Crafts Fair takes place on Wednesday, January 3rd, with the best Crucian chefs, cooks, and artisans flaunting their finest culinary skills and offering local delicacies like kallaloo, red peas soup, fish and fungi, Vienna cakes, tamarind stew, and other delicious treats. The next day, revelers emerge from their homes before the break of dawn for j’ouvert — an early morning dance party whose name originates from the French words “jour” and “ouvert,” meaning daybreak or morning. From 5am into the late morning hours, the streets of Frederiksted will be peppered with people — both young and old — dancing behind 8-foot-tall music trucks surrounded by paint, water, and powder. Crucian Christmas Festival culminates with the Children and Adult Parades on January 5th and 6th with bright, colorful costumes, lively music, mocko jumbie performances, quadrille dancers, and limitless vibes!
For more information about 2023- 2024 Crucian Christmas Festival, visit USVI Festivals Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USVIFestivals.
Written by Anquanette Gaspard firstname.lastname@example.org
The unofficial start of the holiday season on St. Croix begins with Christiansted Holiday Jump Up. To “jump up” means to dance with jubilation, and guests should expect to fully commit to doing this and much more at this popular event! A festival-like block party, Christiansted Holiday Jump Up is when the streets of downtown Christiansted are blocked off to vehicular traffic to allow everyone to “jump up” and enjoy an evening of excitement and togetherness at this unique and cultural experience. Christiansted Holiday Jump Up is hosted by Christiansted Retail & Restaurant Association (CRRA), a community organization comprised of downtown area businesses that focuses its efforts on the needs of the Christiansted community. Held four times a year on a Friday night, the last Jump Up of the year typically takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Locals, residents, and visitors flood the streets to enjoy live street performances from some of the island’s most cherished groups. Moko Jumbies, the infamous cultural icon of the U.S. Virgin Islands, make their esteemed appearance with Guardians of Culture Moko Jumbies. A staple in our Virgin Islands culture for centuries, it is said that they ward off evil spirits and protect those around them from any oncoming danger. This is why it is considered a blessing to be in their presence. Enjoy live music at every turn with the sweet sounds of pan and iron steel pan groups, smooth jazz sounds, and melodic tunes from musical groups that cover genres ranging from R&B, calypso, soca, and pop. Street vendors set up their tables throughout downtown Christiansted serving local foods and drinks and selling jewelry, arts and crafts, and much more. Christiansted Holiday Jump Up is the perfect time to get a jump start on holiday shopping! As a bonus, Christiansted businesses and restaurants will extend their hours to 9pm to accommodate the crowds and offer several specials in celebration of the event.
The event takes place four times a year. Upcoming dates are November 24, 2023, and Feb. 14, May 5 and July 7, 2024. The biggest Jump Up is held in February on Valentine’s Day.
Come out and enjoy a night on the town with good food, family, and friends!
Written by Anquanette Gaspard email@example.com
The 27th annual Mango Melee Tropical Fruit and Mango Festival was held in at the St. George Village Botanical Garden in St Croix on July 9, 2023. This popular family-friendly event offers kids activities, educational workshops, food competitions, tropical fruit demonstrations and tastings, and the ever-popular Mango Eating Contests. Visitors enjoy local food and drinks, arts and craft vendors, cultural dance performances, Moko Jumbies, music and more throughout the day. As the VI Consortium reported, Yasmine Tuitt, 14, defended her title and emerged as the winner of the Mango Eating Competition for the second consecutive year at the 27th annual Mango Melee. 9-year-old Anita Thomas won the Mango Eating Competition in the children category. Congratulations!
Many local vendors also had tables selling mango and tropical fruit delicacies and products. It is a great annual event that brings the community together!
The St. Croix Source has some great photos, check it out here.
July 3rd of this year is the 175th celebration of USVI’s Emancipation Day, history. It was a week long commemoration to honor the heritage of the Virgin Islands and celebrate the hard-won freedom of its people. Events included a parade, concerts, a freedom walk, panel discussions and more. We are excited to see a nationally published publication like Essence.com write wonderful article about the commemoration events.
St. Croix Source also has an article about the events starting with July 3, 2023 in the Fort to Fort Freedom walk, a Libation and Calling the Names of the Ancestors Ceremony, and with music and fireworks after dark. In between, there were music, art shows, Quadrille dancing and a Quelbe tramp, just to name a few highlights.