The 2012 Crucian Christmas Festival will celebrate a big anniversary in a big way when it kicks off Dec. 1.
"It’s the 60th anniversary, so everything is going to be bigger than ever," said Melody Rames, a member of the Crucian Christmas Festival Executive Board.
The festival kicks off with an extravaganza for residents of the Herbert Grigg Home for the Aged on Dec. 1. The event, which will give a taste of the festival for residents who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get out, will include a mini-parade, a sampling of the troupes and costumes from the adult parade, caroling, bands, food and drink, and a visit from the contestants for the Miss St. Croix and Princess and Duchess titles.
On Dec. 2, the Princess and Duchess contestants will compete for the tiaras at 2 p.m. at the St. Croix Educational Complex.
The Miss St. Croix Pageant will follow a week later, Dec. 9, with candidates competing at Island Center.
The annual Soup de Cure fundraiser will take place Dec. 16 at the Pirate’s Cove Tavern in Salt River. Soup de Cure is a competition to see who can take the top prize for the most delicious soup.
Later that evening, the Christiansted Mini-Festival Village will open in a new location, at Canegata Park. The event is moving from its midtown location so there will be more room for Coney Island rides and games, Rames said.
A food, arts and crafts fair will be held Dec. 21 at Canegata. Band performances begin at 8 p.m. featuring Digital Band, Jamal & de Crew, and Pumpa and da Unit.
On Dec. 22, the Ole Time Traditional Night Parade will travel under the city’s Christmas street lighting from the Sunday Market Square to the Canegata fairgrounds.
Performing that evening are Xclusive Band, Stylee Band and Spectrum Band.
A new tradition begins Dec. 23 with the opening of the Mid-Island Mini Village, in the field adjacent to John H. Woodson Middle School on Mon Bijou. It will feature carnival rides and games, as well as performances that evening by Upper Level Band, Fire Train Band and Midnight Band.
A perennial favorite, the Junior Calypso Concert, will begin at noon at the Educational Complex High School.
The Calypso Monarch Eiminations will be held at 8 p.m. Dec. 23 at Jam Time Nightclub in Estate Mount Plesant West. The admission is 15$ at the door.
On Christmas Eve, Stanley & the 10 Sleepless Knights, Digital Band and The World Famous XPress Band will perform at the Mid-Island Mini Village.
Fusion Band, Stylee Band, Daddy Jones & da Crew will perform Christmas day.
Pumpa and da Unit, Showtime Band from Tortola and UMB Soldiers will perform on Dec. 26.
A new event, the Mon Bijou Jouvert, will also be held the day after Christmas.
On Dec. 27, the Frederiksted Festival Village will open on the grounds adjacent to the Paul E. Joseph baseball stadium, with food booths, merchants, carnival rides and games. Opening ceremony will be at 6 p.m. Kule Band, Fusion Band and Kross Fire from Barbados will perform at 8 p.m.
Opening Tramp from the Frederiksted Post Office to the Festival Village at 7 p.m.
The Calypso Monarch Final will be held Dec. 26 at Island Center.
On Dec. 28, the Party Monarch Competition will begin at 7 p.m. at Island Center, and The World Famous Xpress Band will perform at the Festival Village.
On Dec. 29 performing at 8 p.m. at the Festival Village will be Image Band from Washington, D.C., UMB Solders, Ricky T, and Monster & Q-Tip from St. Lucia.
The annual boat races will be held off Frederiksted on Dec. 30 with boats running from the Fish Market to the Frederiksted Pier. The V.I. Department of Tourism will sponsor Cultural Night at the Festival Village that evening.
On New Year’s Eve, "Youth Talent Shines" will see performances by Volume International Band, JDPP and Stylee Band at the Festival Village.
And as the new year dawns, the festival kicks into high gear. Performing at the Festival Village on Jan. 1, 2013, are Dennis da Mennis & Crew, Sir Oungku and the Red Hot Flames from Antigua and Onyon and the 3 Cylinder Band, also from Antigua.
On Jan. 2, Roast-A-Time J’Ouvert gets the day off to a loud start at daybreak. Starting at Hannah’s Rest Corner, the event winds up into Frederiksted, with bands and gyrating crowds of all ages culminating at the Festival Village.
The annual Food, Arts and Crafts Fair is held at noon at the Frederiksted Waterfront and Buddhoe Park, and later it’s Reggae Night at the Festival Village, featuring Reggae Bubblers, Midnight Band, Cruz Rock and Beenie Man.
On Jan. 3, the Festival Village hosts Latin Night with bands to be announced.
The Children’s Parade Day starts at Claude O. Markoe Elementary School on Jan. 4 and runs down Frederiksted’s King Street to the Festival Village.
The night’s performers will be Elizabeth Wattley and the Outta Limits Band, and four acts from Trinidad – Benjai, Bunji Garlin, Kerwin DuBois and Shurwayne Winchester.
For many, the Adult Parade on Jan. 5 is the highlight of Festival, with bands, marching troupes, dignitaries, floats and more. The night’s performers will be Hart Attak Band, Pumpa & da Unit, Daddy Jones & da Crew and Fanatic Band.
On Jan. 6, the Last Lap will wrap up the Crucian Christmas Festival in the evening with fireworks on the Frederiksted waterfront and performances at the Festival Village by Prince Galloway, King Derby, Calypso Rose, King Short Shirt and The Mighty Sparrow.