If you’ve spent any time on St. Croix, there’s a good chance you have been to or heard of the popular local event, “Jump Up.” Held once every quarter, Jump Up is a social gathering held in the streets of downtown Christiansted. Music fills the air, the smell of delicious crucian food can be smelled for miles and the jaw dropping moko jumbies take to the streets.
“Jump Up” simply means, to dance. The event is traditionally held on a Friday and is similar to a street fair or a block party. There are several food vendors offering favorites like beef pate’s, johnny cakes or fresh coconut water. If you’ve never had a pate, this is always the time to try one! These small pastry pockets are fried to a crisp golden brown and stuffed with a variety of delicious fillings, from chicken to salt fish, beef or conch.
You don’t have to look far for another local favorite, Roti! Roti is an Indian flatbread made from stone-ground whole meal flour. It looks similar to a giant tortilla that is heated and then filled with potato, chickpea and curried meat, ranging from chicken to beef or shrimp. Rolled up into a burrito, and wa-la, you have Roti!
Many restaurants and local shop owners stay open late so people can dine and shop throughout the evening. Even local businesses located elsewhere on island often make an appearance. Leatherback Brewery is a local favorite that brews their beer locally. You can usually find their tent with a few options on tap to choose from!
Often you can watch children play the steel pans or fire dancers putting on a spectacular show, but the most anticipated part of Jump Up is typically the Moko Jumbies. Their giant stature and bright colors normally stop most in their tracks! Moko Jumbies originated from Africa but have been apart of the Virgin Islands heritage for over 200 years. Today they are a staple for many celebrations on island. They stand on stilts around 5 feet tall and dance to the beat of the music. All while making it look so simple!
If you are on island, this weekend make sure you attend Jump Up happening THIS FRIDAY, February 7th. The cost is free and usually lasts from 6-10PM. Hope to see you there!