St. Croix’s ever popular Agriculture and Food Fair, also known as Agrifest, has returned with its 51st installment and back to its former glory! Since 1971, this three-day agricultural festival has attracted attendees from all over the world to the island to experience everything rooted in agriculture from locally grown fruits and vegetables to livestock, arts and crafts and local cuisine. Agrifest has returned to its original February dates which occur over President’s Day weekend. In prior years, devastating hurricanes and the recent global pandemic resulted in the event being postponed to Memorial Day weekend. The 2023 Agrifest will take place from Saturday, February 18th through Monday, February 20th at the Rudolph Shulterbrandt Agricultural Complex in Estate Lower Love. This year’s theme is “Agriculture: Growing Today for Tomorrow…You, Me, All Ah We… in 2023.” As food security becomes an important topic withing the Virgin Islands community, the theme shines a light on our need to focus on food sovereignty for locals and residents of the territory.
The rich, cultural experiences of St. Croix’s AgriFest are centered around the four F’s: food, fun, family and friends. Upon entry onto the fairgrounds, a myriad of captivating sights and invigorating smells welcome you with spirited delight. On the west side of the fairgrounds in the main exhibition hall is where the farmers market is held. This is where attendees will see an assortment of fruits, vegetables and spices with an assortment of plants on display and many available for sale. Several exhibits sponsored by local schools, youth groups, the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, and the US Department of Agriculture can also be found on display.
There is no shortage of fun activities for Agrifest-goers. The livestock exhibits feature goats, chickens, rabbits and peacocks. Stop in at the petting zoo for an up-close-and-personal time with island wildlife, have your little one ride a donkey or enjoy one of the carnival rides for an extra dose of fun. Give your ears a treat with the sweet-sounding tunes from local musicians performing throughout the day and learn something new at any of the informational booths throughout the fairgrounds educating attendees on a variety of agriculture-focused topics.
“This is a true Virgin Islands reunion,” said U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture Commissioner Positive T.A. Nelson. “This is where you see it all – our traditions, our food, and our people.” Get your fill of local delicacies: one-pot dishes like kalalloo, red peas soup and crab & rice, sweet treats such as gooseberry and tamarind stews, tamarind balls, vienna cake and butter cookies and hearty plates of roast pork, stew chicken and conch in butter sauce with the crucial Crucian trimmings of season rice, baked macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and potato stuffing. Pair your meal with a tall glass of tamarind juice, bush tea lemonade, ginger beer, peanut punch or passion fruit juice. Come out and celebrate the 51st annual VI Agrifest from February 18th to February 20th. Admission is $6 Adults, $5 Seniors, $4 Children 12 and under; Three days passes are available for $12 Adults, $10 Seniors, $8 Children 12 and under. The fair will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit https://viagrifest.org.
Written by Anquanette Gaspard firstname.lastname@example.org