Friday, January 05, 2007

Crucian Festival

Locals celebrate the Christmas season in style here on St. Croix with a Festival of organized events that lasts an entire month. A "Festival Village" is erected at a local park in Frederiksted and every night there is food, amusement park rides and musical performances with dancing till the wee hours. Music includes Latin, Reggae, Calypso and Quelbe (the local brand of Calypso that is a favorite of mine).

There is also the Prince, Princess and Duchess Pageant, followed by the Calypso competitions. The Calypso Juniors are for kids and the Calypso Monarchs for adults. Everyone sings and acts out calypso songs that range from the patriotic to stinging political satire, all received with howls of laughter and cheers from the audience.

The Festival also hosts the Miss St. Croix and Mr. St. Croix Pageants, King and Queen of the Bands, Water Sports Day, Latin and Quelbe Cultural Dances, a Food and Crafts Fair and a few Tramps. Tramps traverse town led by a Quelbe band playing out of the back of a truck followed by a crowd on foot dancing in the streets. Yesterday morning there was J'ouvert, the traditional tramp that began at 5 in the morning!

But the biggest events are the two parades that complete the Festival. Today there will be the Children's Parade and tomorrow the Adult's Parade. In attendance will be all the bands that participated in the festival; floats; colorful dancers with feathers and glitter galore; the winners of all the competitions including Miss and Mr. St. Croix plus the Prince, Princess and Duchess, King and Queen of the Bands and the winners of the Calypso Contests. The parades begin at 10 a.m. and are still going at sundown.

Last year I was keen to participate in as many events as possible. This year I've been so focused at the studio that the festival has gone unnoticed. In the unlikely event that I go to the Adult Parade this year, I'll bring a chair and ear plugs because it is long, crowded and incredibly loud.

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Anonymous maria said...

You're already a jaded local, aren't you? ;-)

If you go, take pictures so those of us in gray, festival-less NJ can live vicariouly.

... who knows? Maybe all the pageantry would inspire your next quilt.

11:14 AM  

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