Coconut lovers rejoice! The annual Crucian Coconut Festival is back from its pandemic hiatus to resume its mission to reignite St. Croix’s economy with the help of coconuts. Since its inception in 2015 by St. Croix Farmers in Action, the cultural display of this cherished Caribbean fruit has been a fun-filled family event complete with educational presentations, cooking demos, activities, games and live local music. Coconuts are one of the few fruits that create a wide assortment of byproducts that are used and enjoyed by people worldwide.
Ms. Yvette Ross, Director for Coconut Festival Committee, shared her excitement of the return of Crucian Coconut Festival. “It’s such a relief to know that we will be able to host Crucian Coconut Festival in 2021,” said Ross. “This year, we are expanding the live entertainment and introducing a fine art exhibit on the days leading up to the festival.” The art exhibit will feature artists from across the Virgin Islands, including woodworkers, painters and steel sculpture artists displaying their works.
This year’s festival will look a bit different due to challenges of COVID-19. For example, a crowd favorite of the festival is the coconut jelly scooping contest. Historically, participants stood shoulder to shoulder racing the clock to determine who could scoop out jelly from coconut husks the fastest. This year will still be based on speed, but participants will be timed individually. Whoever has the fastest time among all the participants will be declared the winner.
Several vendors will be in attendance selling coconut inspired crafts, local foods and treats. The on-site greenhouse will host aquaponic tours that show how produce is grown using this fish powered food production system. There will also be a host of interactive educational presentations about the coconut as well as a family activity center where craft baskets and bags filled with coconut learning activities are given to families to take home. Ross shared her hope for this year’s attendees of the Crucian Coconut Festival. “I want everyone to leave the festival with a greater appreciation for the coconut.” She expressed that the coconut is more than an economical tool; “it can improve your health and offer entrepreneurial opportunities.”
The Crucian Coconut Festival will take place on Sunday, December 5th from 11am to 6pm at Estate Bethlehem Sugar Factory; $10 entry fee for all attendees. The art exhibit, also taking place at Estate Bethlehem Sugar Factory, opens to the public on Friday, December 3rd. From 4pm to 9pm, enjoy live music from the Eddie Russell Band; $25 entry fee for the opening night. The exhibit will also be open on Saturday, December 4th from 10am to 3pm. Vaccination or proof of negative test within 3 days is required to attend all events. For more information, call 340.690.1389.
Article written by Anquanette Gaspard (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Coldwell Banker, St. Croix Realty
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