Jump Up! in Christiansted on Friday, July 7 2023. By V.I. CONSORTIUM
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX — The heart of downtown Christiansted pulsated with unity and joy on Friday night as it played host to one of St. Croix's most popular and enduring events, Jump Up! Backed by local businesses aiming to stimulate sales, the event sees businesses staying open past regular hours to engage the additional patronage.
Jump Up!, an event held throughout the year, saw an impressive turnout of locals and tourists flooding the streets of downtown Christiansted to partake in the myriad of activities. From the alluring melody of steelpan music to the captivating moko jumbies dance, the festive energy of live bands, and the mesmerizing display of fireworks along the boardwalk, Jump Up! was a spectacle to behold.
Evidently, the event was a gastronomic delight. From Johnny cakes and chicken legs to chicken skewers, attendees were seen casually strolling through the streets, local delicacies in hand, soaking up the exuberant atmosphere.
One of the seasoned participants, Velma Cruz, who has been part of Jump Up! for over three decades, enthused, "My customers look out for me and wait for me especially to get my chicken and Johnny cake. Tonight was excellent. This year was slightly different because they added a stage. Change is always good." She offered a tantalizing menu of chicken/shrimp kabobs, Johnny cake, chicken, and saltfish/beef pate, paired with local drinks of passion fruit and tamarind.
First-time attendee, Andrew Lall, visiting from Florida, couldn't hide his excitement. "I’m loving it. My favorite part are the bands that perform. I really love music so I enjoyed each and every second. Also, I am enjoying the food. My favorite is the chicken kabob, well seasoned," he said.
Amy Allare, visiting from Delhi, Iowa, had just gotten married and decided to give Jump Up! a try during her honeymoon. She commented, "It is beyond our expectations. The music keeps everyone going, and the boardwalk is amazing. There is such good energy. Everyone is in a good mood. Also, I tried so many dishes for the first time tonight. The food is delicious."
Labelled the Summer Jump Up, Friday night's gathering was a grand celebration of local culture and cuisine, with vendors lining various streets. A lineup of bands and deejays kept the crowd entertained, as attendees, both tourists and locals, reveled in the festivities.
As the night concluded, it was clear that the event's reputation as a lively and joyful celebration remains undimmed.