March 14, 2004 — Intermittent rain showers did little to deter people from attending Sunday's Afternoon on the Green. More than a thousand gourmets ignored the dark gray clouds gathering to the north of St. Thomas and found their way to the 15th annual event, which features the island's finest local food for $2 a taste along with ginger beer, maubi, sorrel, passion fruit and other combinations of favorite local drinks.
Afternoon on the Green raises funds for the University of the Virgin Islands while providing the perfect venue for families to spend a leisurely afternoon meeting friends and sharing food.
There are always special attractions for the children, and this year was no exception.
Behind the main food tent, squeals of delight were heard above the calypso beat of UVI's Pea Soup band. There a crowd of youngsters were gathered around a makeshift petting pool where they had a chance if they were quick enough to pet the fish, which darted from side to side and under the rocks, making petting a challenge for even the deftest among them.
Another group of slightly older children played "Marine Jeopardy," answering questions regarding everything from dolphins to the polluting effects of motor oil. In case you were wondering, a single quart of motor oil has the ability to pollute up to 2 million gallons of water.
Both the petting pool and "Marine Jeopardy" were sponsored by the V.I. Marine Advisory Service.
A few yards away, spread out on the green — which on the other 364 days of the year serves as the Herman E. Moore Golf Course — another group played checkers on a gigantic plastic checkers board laid out on the ground.
UVI President LaVerne Ragster, clad in blue jeans, mingled with friends, alumni and colleagues. Senators and government officials, also in casual attire, were often heard asking advice on the best fare from those who had already sampled the food.
As the smorgasbord of local delights diminished with the passing minutes, many at the event were admonished to hurry if they wanted to sample the culinary creations. Chicken stew, tofu balls, macaroni and cheese, potato stuffing, seafood pasta, and rice and peas were only a few of the main dishes available. However, the largest crowds were gathered at the far end of the food tent, where the sweets were arrayed, or lined up at the homemade ice cream stand.
Afternoon on the Green is the kickoff for UVI's Charter Week activities, which begin Monday, March 15, and continue until Saturday March 20. (See "UVI celebrates charter week with public events".)
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice… click here.