Collage of the Dominican Republic Independence Parade on St. Croix in 2016. By ERNICE GILBERT/ V.I. CONSORTIUM
The parade to celebrate 179 years of the Dominican Republic’s independence is coming back to the streets of Christiansted tomorrow, February 26th.
Tomorrow’s parade will be the 14th held in the USVI, and will be the first full-fledged parade since the pandemic. Attendees can expect, at this year’s 179th Independence Anniversary celebration, a stage featuring music from artists in the territory as well as live bands from the Dominican Republic, among other entertainment acts.
The parade will comprise approximately 24 different groups, including the St. Croix Majorettes, and at least one flying in from the Dominican Republic - La Vega Dominican Republica - complete with their carnival costumes.
Parade participants will begin to gather near the Basin Triangle in Christiansted around 11:00 a.m. for a 1:30 p.m. parade start, said Dionis Lorenzo, president of the Dominican Action Committee. The parade will make its way to the Canegata ballpark, arriving there around 4:00 pm, at which point the “Fiesta De Pueblo” will begin.
According to Mr. Lorenzo, “that, I think, makes the Virgin Islands such a special place, because it’s a place with a lot of different cultures converging and we live together in peace, and that’s a thing that’s important for us at this time to celebrate.” That melting pot of cultures will be highlighted by the food on offer at the festival village itself, where vendors are expected to have popular dishes from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and of course the Virgin Islands on sale.
Apart from the food, and music, children will enjoy entertainment activities tailored towards them, and seniors and disabled people will have a space catering to their comfort as well.
Lorenzo is looking forward to being able to once again share part of the Dominican Republic’s rich history and culture with local Virgin Islanders, because according to him “this is our second home.”
The Dominican Republic declared its independence from Haiti on February 27th, 1844.