The hotter than ever July sun will not deter those who are planning to “Come Home to St. Croix” this summer to enjoy the annual eight-day celebration of culture, history, family and connections scheduled for July 17 – July 24 at Estate Whim Museum. Families with a St. Croix connection who have planned their reunions in July will partake in the activities that include historical exhibits, family research workshops, music, dance and other celebrations.
“There will be something for everyone,” said Executive Director Sonia Jacobs Dow, who explained that this year the theme “Freedom: Ahwe Story, Ahwe Legacy, Ahwe Future” will be reflected in each day’s events.
“Family research is a big part of the St. Croix Landmarks experience, and we have exhibit space available for interested families to display their history and connections to St. Croix,” she said. “We will also tour the Christiansted National Historic Site and have a grand quadrille under the stars.”
Other events will feature poetry and music, discussions and talks, storytelling, singing, dancing and much more. The official schedule follows.
For more information on “Come Home to St. Croix” or the St. Croix Landmarks Society, contact 772-0598 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow the society on Facebook or @stcroixlandmarkssociety on Twitter.
Ceremony to Honor Our Ancestors: at 3-5 p.m., Sunday, July 17, at Estate Whim Museum ($5 admission)
The Ceremony to Honor Our Ancestors is the opening ceremony of the Come Home to St. Croix program. The ceremony officially begins with the blowing of the conch shell. Attendees then pour a traditional libation in honor of their ancestors. The ceremony ends with the opening of Estate Whim Museum’s newest exhibit, a family history exhibit created by May Cornwall. Cornwall’s exhibit is an example of what can be done with the genealogical research material found at St. Croix Landmarks Society Research Library and Archives.
Poetry and Music Night: 5-7 p.m., Sunday, July 17, at Estate Whim Museum ($5 admission)
About: On this night of poetry and traditional music, contributors will share poems that focus on what freedom means and different ways that people gain freedom. Anyone interested in being a Poetry and Music Night contributor can call 772-0598.
Workshop – Getting Started with Your Family History: 5:45-8 p.m., Monday, July 18, at Estate Whim Museum ($10 admission)
This workshop will provide attendees with an introduction to family research and an overview of the unique family research resources available at the St. Croix Landmarks Society Research Library and Archives. This is a hands-on workshop. Attendees are encouraged to bring their laptops to participate.
Places That Matter – In the Footsteps of the Ancestors at the Slave Market Site: 9-10 a.m., Tuesday, July 19, at Christiansted National Historic Site. Meet at Christiansted Wharf. ($15 admission for general public; $12 admission for members; $7 admission for K-12 students)
Participants will walk the first path walked by the ancestors who were captured and brought to St. Croix for the purpose of enslavement. The walk will begin at the wharf, where the enslaved disembarked from the ships, and end at the former Danish West India & Guinea Company Warehouse, where men and women stood to be sold. Participants should come with hats, comfortable shoes, water and flower bunches. Flowers will be used for a floral tribute to the ancestors. Refreshments will be available.
On Hubert Harrison – A Talk by Dr. Jeffrey B. Perry: 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, July 19, at Estate Whim Museum ($5 admission)
Dr. Jeffrey B. Perry will hold a talk on the life and work of Hubert Harrison, a Harlem Renaissance-era intellectual and radical who lived his early life on St. Croix. There will also be a viewing of the following books: “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918;” “A Hubert Harrison Reader;” and “When Africa Awakes: The ‘Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World.” Light Crucian fare will be available for sale in the cookhouse.
An Evening in the Big Yard: 5:30-7:30p.m., Thursday, July 21, at Estate Whim Museum ($5 admission)
Cool out in the Whim Big Yard and experience what life was like back in the day. Crucian tradition bearers will demonstrate cooking, drumming, cariso and more.
Quadrille 101 and Grand Crucian Quadrille under the Stars: 6-7 p.m. [Quadrille 101] and 7 p.m. to midnight [Grand Crucian Quadrille under the Stars], Friday, July 22, Estate Whim Museum ($10 admission)
Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights will provide the music for this evening of Quadrille. The activity will start at 6 p.m. with a Quadrille 101 session where participants will learn the basics of the Quadrille dance. The official dance will begin at 7 p.m. St. Croix Quadrille Dance groups are invited to attend. Light Crucian fare will be available for sale in the cookhouse.
Virgin Islands Cultural Exposé and Extravaganza: 6:30-9:30 p.m., Saturday, July 23, at Island Center ($15 admission: tickets sold at Estate Whim Museum, Urban Threadz, Café de la Crème, Armstrong’s Homemade Ice Cream, Echo Valley Imports and Tire Services).
The Ten Sleepless Knights, St. Croix Landmarks Society, and Island Center for the Performing Arts present the Virgin Islands Cultural Exposé and Extravaganza, an explosive showcase of St. Croix’s music and culture. July’s performance starts off with music by the Rising Stars Steel Band and will feature the Ten Sleepless Knights, cariso singer Cedelle Petersen, Blackness Creese, steelpan extraordinaire Kevin Williams Jr., Tony Romano and the Guardians, and Culture Mocko Jumbies. The Rising Stars will start the show off at 6:30 p.m.
Old Time Family Day: noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, July 24, at Estate Whim Museum ($5 admission, children get in free).
Families are invited to share in this day of old-time games, authentic food and Crucian traditions.
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