Dec. 27, 2002 – Crucians by the hundreds converged on the D.C. Canegata Ballpark to hail the opening of their Golden Jubilee Festival Village.
Festival Committee officials joined Gov. Charles W. Turnbull in formally opening "Romneyville," the 50th anniversary village named in honor of Romney Williams, a former festival committee chair. "It is really a great celebration, 50 years of the Crucian Christmas Fiesta," the governor said.
Turnbull called the Crucian Festival an important part of V.I. culture and pledged to continue the flow of government resources to preserve it, along with V.I. Carnival on St. Thomas and the July Fourth Festival on St. John. "Everyplace else has its own culture and history. We are no less than anyone else, and we will continue," the governor said.
This year's St. Croix celebration has as its theme "A Golden Spree for the World to See: It's Crucian Festival 2003." For the full festival schedule, see "Crucian Christmas Festival 2003 events guide".
A modest crowd of about 300 people joined dignitaries at the official opening ceremonies on Thursday, but by midnight, the numbers had more than doubled as St. Croix's quintessential quelbe band, Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights, struck up the notes to "Queen Mary."
Officials marking the occasion recalled the origins of the festival, started by the Women's League of St. Croix in 1952 – the same year that modern-day V.I. Carnival was begun. Vera Falu, president of the Crucian Christmas Festival Organization, said it has taken a lot to keep the party going through the years, especially in times of little money and few resources, including the human variety.
"It's not easy being part of the Crucian Christmas Festival Organization," Falu said. "Why do we stay? Why don't we go? It's because we believe in the people; we believe in the culture."
The 2003 festival village was named for Williams in recognition of his dedication and consistent efforts benefiting the annual festival. Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards praised him as a "hard worker" and called Romneyville a fitting name for the festival village.
At the village opening, a special presentation of a jubilee commemorative coin was made to the governor, Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd, and Delegate Donna M. Christensen. The coin bears the slogan of the jubilee year on one side, and the logo of the festival committee and images of quadrille dancers and a sugar mill on the other.

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