April 21, 2003 – The fall of the bungalow at Rothschild Francis "Market" Square has given rise to a new venue for this year's V.I. Carnival Food Fair — the Emancipation Garden area.
The V.I. Carnival Committee announced the location for the April 30 event at a press conference Monday morning. Kenneth "Blakey" Blake, committee chair, said the fair will extend from the Alvaro de Lugo Post Office on the west to the Old Cable Building on the east, and from Norre Gade on the north to Fort Christian on the south.
Blake was joined by Caswil Callender, Carnival Committee executive director; Ingerborg Marrero, Food Fair Committee chair; and James O'Bryan, special assistant to Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, in announcing the new venue. He said the decision was made at a meeting on Saturday.
After the historic Sanderilla Thomas Bungalow was struck by a truck and collapsed in Market Square last Tuesday, Blake said, several alternative sites were considered. He said Emancipation Garden was chosen for reasons including safety, traffic and accessibility to public utilities.
Marrero said since the Food Fair is a major cultural event, Emancipation Garden is an appropriate substitute for Market Square some six blocks away at the other end of the downtown shopping area. Sites are to be assigned later this week to vendors taking part in the food fair or the arts and crafts fair that has been set up along Main Street on the same day in recent years.
Blake said the relocation of the Food Fair is not expected to disrupt commerce at the adjacent Vendors Plaza — and may actually improve the snarl of traffic experienced in downtown Charlotte Amalie. "Food Fair traffic should be much better because Main Street and Back Street will be open, as well as Veterans Drive," he said.
Main Street and Back Street have traditionally been closed to traffic on Food Fair day, he said.
Loss of the Market Square bungalow came on the same day that the Carnival Committee lost its honoree for the 2003 Carnival Village, Gerald E. Hodge Sr., who died that morning. Blake said that in honor of Hodge, who chaired the committee in 1986-98, the village still will bear the name "Gerry's Place," and plans are under way for a special commemoration.
Who'll vie for Calypso Monarch crown
Also announced at the press conference were the names of the 10 finalists who will compete against defending four-peat winner Whadablee in the V.I. Calypso Monarch Competition on May 1 at Lionel Roberts Stadium. Judges voting on the performances of calypsonians taking part in two elimination tents chose the following finalists: Generic, Jemma Noel, King Kan Fu' Plentae, the Mighty Pat, Pepper Pat, Reflector, Soljah, Sugar Dee, Super T and Waggy. The Incredible Shark was designated an alternative.
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