Home News Local news AGRIFEST 2002 DRAWS THOUSANDS



Feb. 17, 2002 – Candidates for a variety of elected offices spent the weekend competing for attention with kallaloo, maubi, cattle and vegetables at St. Croix’s Agrifest 2002.
Among the luminaries attending the 31st annual V.I. Agricultural and Food Fair were Acting Gov. Gerard Luz James II, who officially opened the fair at mid-day on Saturday, Delegate Donna Christian Christensen, and undeclared candidate for governor Michael Bornn.
A booth at the fair offering "free plants" bore a big sign for "Cora 2002," a reference to a declared gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Cora Christian of St. Croix.
Sen. Donald "Ducks" Cole remarked on Friday, coming over on the seaplane, that he expected to see a full array of candidates at the event. He was right.
A bevy of St. Thomas and St. Croix senatorial hopefuls cruised the fairgrounds hoping to take in some votes as they sampled the food and festivities. Lawrence Boschulte, a Republican from St. Thomas, was seen greeting fairgoers and shaking hands along with Sens. Emmett Hansen II, Almando "Rocky" Liburd and Cole.
But the weekend’s true luminaries were Rosaline Drew, the first woman ever to win the Crop Farmer of the Year award, and Henry Nelthropp, 2002's Livestock Farmer of the Year.
The two were given their awards at the opening ceremony. The festivities got started a little late on Saturday, hampered by some rain, but by noon the fair was in full swing.
Many first-timers were in attendance. Long-time St. Thomas resident Linda Dunham said, "This is my first time. It’s great!"
Miss UVI, Nyasha Mutunhu, stopped to chat after the opening ceremonies, saying she was "looking forward to the weekend."
Sunday was even busier, with traffic guides still directing cars at mid-afternoon to park at the far ends of the grounds, as throngs of people continued to make their way to one of St. Croix’s biggest events of the year.
Earlier in the week there was not a rental car or hotel room to be had for the weekend on the Big Island. The fair brought masses of visitors from St. Thomas, the Eastern Caribbean and the mainland.
The aroma of St. Croix’s best culinary efforts wafted from the Lyra Tonge Food Pavilion early Saturday morning and those who were lucky enough to have arrived as the fair opened were treated to the first tastes of the "best of" local dishes.
The pavilion and many of its cooks were adorned with images of the American flag in response to the events of Sept. 11.
Dressed in red, white and blue stars and stripes, Ann Richards-Stowers and her sister Paula Patterson dished up conch stew and kallaloo at the booth of their mother, Genevieve Richards. It was Richards’ second year at the fair.
St. Croix T-shirts and big smiles were everywhere as Virgin Islanders and visitors, children and adults, and even the politicians seemed to forget about work, school and the fall elections, as everyone got into the spirit of food, fun and festivities.
The fair continues through Monday, opening at 9 a.m. Admission is $2 for children, $3 for seniors and $5 for other adults.
For a pictorial review of Agrifest 2002, go to Community/Other stuff .


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