Jan. 1, 2006 The Crucian Christmas Festival Village rolled ever so slowly into its third night Sunday. As the sun set over the ocean off Fort Frederik Beach — where boat races, jet ski races and other water-related activities took place during the afternoon — only a few people were strolling into the Village and just a smattering of people was at the SpongeBob in Paradise show at 5 p.m. when it was scheduled to start.
However, that quickly changed as the night settled in and more booths opened in Fergusville, which is named in honor of Dwayne "Massik" Fergus, the owner of Fergutrax Heavy Equipment.
When asked about the festival, Fergusville vendor Jerome Davis said, "There is nothing to complain about. We just enjoy being here." He and Theresa Davis were selling homemade drinks, kallaloo, and johnny cakes. Jerome said he and Theresa, who live in Barren Spot on St. Croix, have been going back and forth between islands for nearly 30 years to sell their products at festivals.
Theresa was attracting people to her booth by calling out, "Free samples of Viagra here." Jerome was giving free samples of Cochita and something he called the Demon. This writer recommends the former but will pass on commenting on the latter.
Roy Cummings was selling homemade leather goods at the entrance to the festival. Although this was his first festival, he has sold goods for the last five years at the Agriculture Fair. His being there was by chance. He came to St. Croix to find a new outlet for his work. The Memories of St. Croix store in Christiansted used to retail his products but recently went out of business. The goods, which are handmade in Guyana, will now be available at Shalom Record Bar.
He said business was not yet brisk in the spot he shares with Poncho's, but he expected things "are just warming up." Although the Village will remain open until the night of the adult parade on Jan. 7, Cummings will only be at the Village until Tuesday.
Jean Riviere has a booth selling homemade tamarind and gooseberry stews, cotton candy and candied apples. Riviere, whose sister was running the booth Sunday, said, "Business has been great." Customers came one after the other as she talked.
The place that seemed to attract the action first was the carnival rides area. The kiddie rides were open early, but the rides for the bigger kids did not start up until it was dark. Suddenly, screams and laughter could be heard all across the Frederiksted field as the Himalaya was spinning with its cars full of the young and young at heart.
Back in the center of the village at about 7:30, the bare field in front of the grandstand started to attract the first people wanting to stake out good seats. Digital Band was scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. and then Outta Limitz band was to come on at 11 p.m. and play until 2 a.m.
The highlight of the festival Monday will be the tramp starting at the Frederiksted Post office at 8 p.m. with Native Rhythm, D.J. Myron, and Claude O. Markoe Quelbe Band. Performing at the Village will be Stanley and the 10 Sleepless Knights from 8 to 11 p.m.
For the complete Village schedule click here.
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