USVI Mourns Cultural Icon Lena Schulterbrandt

Lena Schulterbrandt during a recent Crucian Christmas Festival. (Photo courtesy of the V.I. Department of Tourism)

The U.S. Virgin Islands is mourning the loss of Lena Schulterbrandt, one of its cultural icons, who has been long recognized as a champion of the tradition and heritage on her home island of St. Croix.

Ian Turnbull, director of the Department of Tourism’s Division of Festivals, said Schulterbrandt was to be honored during this year’s Crucian Christmas Festival.

“Instead, we now sadly mourn her passing and convey our condolences to her family, her loved ones and her legion of fans and followers,” said Turnbull.

The posthumous tribute to Mrs. Schulterbrandt will complement the festival’s theme: “What a sight to see: Music, culture and pageantry.”

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“Our plans to recognize such a grand figure during Cultural Night and to honor her contributions and her efforts to inspire our youth to be more involved in our heritage will continue, albeit posthumously,” said Shamari Haynes, assistant director of the Division of Festivals for St. Croix, who recalled Schulterbrandt’s important work with the Tourism Department’s greeters program.

Haynes hailed Schulterbrandt as a dedicated advocate for the preservation of Crucian culture and the development of culinary arts.

The schedule for this year’s Crucian Christmas Festival – one of three major annual cultural events celebrated throughout the Virgin Islands – has undergone a revival. Festivities will be held between Dec. 6, 2019, and Jan. 5, 2020.

St. Croix’s renowned musical group Stanley and The Ten Sleepless Knights will also be honored on its 50th anniversary in the music business. In honor of the group, Carnival Village has been named “Stanleyville” this year.

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