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Tradition Lives On With Opening of Festival Village

The ribbon-cutting ceremony, marking the official opening of Festival Village.Former St. Croix resident Karen Carty was on hand Thursday for the opening of this year’s Crucian Christmas Festival Village. Though she lives now in Norfolk, Va., the St. Croix native wouldn’t miss the village opening in Frederiksted.
She’s been there every year for the last 21 years, starting as a six-year-old, when her parents opened a booth at the village in Frederiksted. “It just wouldn’t be Christmas if it wasn’t the village,” she said.
So there she was, as usual, at the Foto Fantasy booth for the official opening of the village. Because of the way the holidays lay out on the calendar this year, the opening coincided with Christmas Eve, and the Children’s Parade will fall on New Year’s Day.
But that only made the event more festive, Carty said.
“Having the festival now gives people something to do before Christmas,” she said, “instead of having to wait until afterwards.”
Certainly the village grounds began seeing a swell of festival goers Thursday night, as the ribbon cutting, overseen by Lt. Gov. Gary Francis and a host of tiara-ed and beribboned royalty, officially launched the event.
While the vendor booths were getting a slow start, the carnival rides, food booths and games were rolling early, and as the night wore on, the crowds grew.
Among the featured performers Thursday was Rising Stars Steel Pan Band.Thursday’s entertainment was provided by the Rising Stars Steel Pan band, Stanley and the Sleepless Knights, Dominica’s Triple K, and DJ Babzy.
On Friday, Christmas night, the village stage will be manned by Heart Attack Band,
Onion and the Antigua’s 3 Cylinder Band, and DJ Will & Sniper.
The entertainment schedule for the remainder of the festival will be:
Saturday, Dec. 26 – Outta Limits Band, Lil Rick from Barbados, The World Famous Xpress Band and DJ Johnny the Ambassador.
Sunday, Dec. 27 – Sabor Latino Band, Liquid Sounds Band, Los Saborsos del Merengue from Puerto Rico and DJ La Fuerza.
Monday, Dec. 28 – St. Croix Heritage Dancers, Educational Complex Band, Creole Dancers from St. Lucia, open quadrille dancing, Crucian Rhythm Band, and DJ Wade.
Tuesday, Dec. 29 – Evolution from St. Thomas, Digital Band from St. Croix, Jam Band from St. Thomas and DJ Chev.
Wednesday, Dec. 30 – Reggae Night: Reggae Bubblers, Pinchers from Jamaica, Black Star Band, Mr. Vegas from Jamaica and DJ Pops.
Thursday, Dec. 31 – Fusion Band, Problem Child from St Vincent, Stylee Band and DJ Joey.
Friday, Jan. 1 – Stroka Band, JDPP from St. Thomas, Encore Band from St. Thomas and DJ Lion King.
Saturday, Jan. 2 – The Mighty Pat, King Galloway, King Derby, Lord Nelson from Trinidad, Daddy Jones and Crew featuring Pumpa, UMB Soldiers and DJ Pops.
Sunday, Jan. 3 – Party Monarch Competition, the Band-O-Rama Competition and DJ Porter.

The Christmas Festival draws Virginia resident Karen Carty back to the Big Island each year.

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