Tree in Limpricht Park, Christiansted By Ernice Gilbert for the Virgin Islands Consortium.
ST. CROIX -- Five choirs serenaded passersby in Christiansted on Friday evening. These choirs were spread about various parts of the town from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and sang Christmas carols to infuse the holiday spirit into the area. For those who witnessed the showcase, it was something like no other, with some saying Christiansted hadn't been this alive with Christmas in a long time.
But the choirs' filling of the atmosphere with that joyous spirit only the Christmas season can capture, was just the prelude to what the organizers, the Crucian Cultural Group (C.C.G.), had in store Friday evening. The main event was dubbed "Ah Glow in the Park - Limpricht Park Tree Lighting", which was accompanied by a number of cultural performances and legendary band Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights.
What an occasion it was. Cultural dancers young and old were not shy to put their dancing skills on full display as their madras outfits added flare. Those who came out to have a good time did not leave all the dancing to the professionals. They, too, were enamored with the spirit of Christmas that engulfed Christiansted, and they allowed their bodies to do the moving while their minds did less thinking. There was a cultural fashion show during the event as well, and it would not be a USVI cultural display if Moko Jumbies didn't show up and show out.
Senator Kurt Vialet, seen at many of these cultural events, danced in the streets with his wife. He told the Consortium that he was especially pleased with the opportunity the Christiansted event had given to seniors who had not been able to participate in the Christmas cultural affairs, as most of the events for years have taken place in Frederiksted.
While Friday was successful, C.C.G. members had been working behind the scenes for months to pull the array of events together. Another well received activity is called "Ah Drive Thru Christmas in Paradise", which gives onlookers a decorated showcase display of cultural Christmas themes and scenes at Teddy's Party & Rentals. This showcase will be available for viewing until January 7, 2020.
As for last night's Limpricht Park Tree Lighting, C.C.G. members for weeks had worked to prepare the park, which is located adjacent to Firstbank in Christiansted. According to Vivian Ebbesen Fludd, a C.C.G. member, 18 volunteers dedicated themselves to decorating trees, all of which are local trees, she said, ahead of the big event on Friday evening. "They just had to decorate the trees with a cultural theme," Mrs. Fludd said.
When the lights were turned on Friday, "I felt a jolt. It was heartwarming to know that we really achieved what we wanted, and more so just a group of us getting together to just share our experiences and our love with our community," Mrs. Fludd said.
Mrs. Fludd said the group had gotten together and decided Christiansted needed some activity during the Christmas season, which is the biggest month in terms of culture and entertainment on St. Croix. "We said, 'you know what, let's look about culture, let's look about heritage, let's look about tradition.'" That led to the idea behind lighting the park and adding flavor to the affair with cultural performances and Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights. The lights will be on from dusk to dawn until January 7, Mrs. Fludd said.
She also stressed that C.C.G. is made up of all volunteers, and that the cultural ambassadors who participated also donated their time and talents. Additionally, a number of organizations supported the effort, and Mrs. Fludd said thank yous will be forthcoming.
On December 27, C.C.G. will host what is probably its most anticipated event for the season. Called the Lantern Parade, C.C.G. is inviting everyone to join them in downtown Christiansted with Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights for a tramp of lights and unity. "We're encouraging everyone to come out with their flashlights, glow lights, phone lights and glow sticks," Mrs. Fludd said.