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St. Croix is already alive with the spirit of holiday joy and giving, as the island prepares for the much anticipated annual Crucian Christmas Festival. The 2009-2010 festival is shaping up to bring yet another year of unfettered celebration, as Crucians of all ages become swept up in the contagious merriment.

The DOT will once again be a sponsor of the annual month-long celebration, which will be punctuated by grand pageantry and events held from Christiansted to Frederiksted. Calypso, reggae, and steel pan competitions will be featured, along with decadent food fairs and lavish parades that draw troupes from schools, businesses and community groups across all the U.S. Virgin Islands. This year’s theme has been selected as “See-Believe-Xperience It,” reflecting the Festival’s arrival into a new era of global acceptance as it embraces Virgin Islanders at home and those residing in other parts of the world.

The unique celebration never fails to captivate tourists and locals alike, who delight in the customs and pageantry of Christmas spent under the warm tropical sun of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Visitors and participants congregate yea after year to enjoy J’Ouvert; the Queen, King, Prince Princess and Duchess pageants; as well as the Children’ and Adults’ Parades.

This year’s festivities will launch on December 5 with the Kick-Off Night parade held in Christiansted. The famed Festival Village will then open its doors to visitors for 10 days of unbridled excitement and live entertainment lasting from December 24 until January 2. Here, participants will enjoy local cuisine such as traditional roast pork, crab and rice, and johnny cakes while surrounded by music and entertainment.

The jamboree will continue into January with the Children’s Parade taking place on the 1st of January, providing the perfect way to kick off the new year. The Festival will culminate with the spectacular Adult’s Parade on January 2nd, where grandiose costumes of feathers and shimmering colors will line the streets in a celebratory fanfare, making this another Crucian Christmas not to forget.

Further details on this year’s schedule are still in the works and will be posted to the Festival’s Web site as the December 5th start date approaches. For more information, contact the Crucian Christmas Festival Organization at (340) 719-3379, or visit www.stxfestival.com.

(resource: Visit USVI newsletter)