Jan. 2, 2003 – With the 50th anniversary Crucian Christmas Festival nearing its climax this weekend, coordinator Lawrence A. Bastian is touting the celebration as a "tremendous" success.
"As far as I'm concerned, it's been an excellent festival," he said Thursday.
"We've tried to do the best we could do with what we have," he said, noting that about $600,000 was appropriated for the festival, but only about half that has been received. Still, he said, the organizers have managed to put on a strong show.
"The funding was a little late, so we had to slow down," he said, adding that a few events were canceled or have been delayed. "But when it did come in, we picked right up and moved along," he said. "On the whole, the remainder of the events have fallen into place."
Bastian said visitors have come from far and wide to experience St. Croix's carnival. "We had guests in here from Denmark taping several events to take back with them," he said. "I think on the whole it's been great, and we're looking forward to bringing the 50th year celebration to end with a bang."
A skyful of bangs it will be. Thanks to a donation of $30,000 from The West Indian Co, there will be a 20-minute synchronized fireworks show in Christiansted harbor on Monday night.
Reigning over the sky lights on Monday, the Children's Parade on Friday and the Adults' Parade on Saturday are the traditional festival queen, king, prince and princess.
The 2003 Miss St. Croix is Alexandrya Evans, granddaughter of the late Gov. Melvin Evans, who topped eight other contestants to win the crown. That was double the typical number of entries in recent years, festival spokesman Richard Nicks said, perhaps because the prizes awaiting the winner included a 2003 Chevy Cavalier LS donated by Caribbean Auto Mart.
Reynaldo Wattley was crowned Mr. St. Croix.
The prince and princess titles went to Tehvin Holder and Shakeda Archibald.
Other royalty in Saturday's Adults' Parade will be this year's king and queen of the bands, Queen Mae Louise Williams and King Kenneth Turnbull.
One royal head remained to be crowned on Thursday, that of the 2003 Calypso Monarch. Competition was expected to be tight in the Thursday night show at Island Center. Among those challenging reigning monarch Samuel "Mighty Pat" Ferdinand were three female contenders: Karen "Lady Mac" McIntosh, Patricia "Pepper Pat" Morris and Gemma Noel.
Nicks said this is the first time that three "trend-setting" female calypsonians have entered the St. Croix competition.
The other male competitors were Kasaun "K-Force" Baptiste,
Campbell "King Kan" Barnes, Morris "King Generic" Benjamin, Cedric "Spade"
Brookes, Lestroy "Happy" James, Wellington "Wreckman" Pelle and Llewellyn
Nicks said the new calypso monarch also will receive a 2003 Cavalier from Caribbean Auto Mart.
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