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The theme for this year’s fest is Diversity, Artistry, & Culture Galore, honoring St. Croix’s sweeping history as the largest and earliest colonized island in USVI. The Crucian Christmas Festival tradition dates back to the 1800s, when enslaved Africans were given time off to celebrate Christmas. They dressed up in homemade costumes and danced through the streets. These traditions were incorporated into the annual Crucian Christmas Festival, which was founded in 1952.

FUN FESTIVAL VILLAGE

The Festival Village in downtown Frederiksted hosts the Crucian Christmas Festival’s main events, with the glistening waterfront as its scenic backdrop. Stroll the grounds and enjoy the sounds of steel pan rhythms and soca beats. Colorful booths selling local foods like johnny cakes, salt fish pate and tamarind stew line the Festival Village. Arts and crafts like handmade coconut bird feeders, vivid madras clothing and paintings fill the other booths. Plus, there’s carnival games for kids and the young at heart.

The Festival Village’s opening night on Dec. 29 promises excitement with its highly anticipated International Cultural Night. See performances by legendary USVI groups Stanley & The Ten Sleepless Knights, Spectrum Band, Xpress Band and Cool Session Brass. Over the course of eight days, other themed music nights include regional and national acts like Karnage, with special guest Dexta Daps, Patrice Roberts, Capleton, Kranium and Nadia Boston.

For the first time ever, USVI will be bridging the gap with Africa during its inaugural Afro Soca Night, featuring Nigerian Afrobeats sensation Davido, who is known for chart-topping music and the wildly popular single, Unavailable.

EXCITING PAGEANTS

Pageants recognizing local talent play a major role during the Crucian Christmas Festival, welcoming participants of all ages. The pageant event begins with a Junior Pageant of Princesses, Princes, Dukes and Duchesses. The highly anticipated Miss St. Croix Festival Queen Pageant is held on Dec. 28, when carefully selected contestants showcase their many talents as they wear extravagant ballgowns, representing the best of the island of St. Croix.

Competition for the titles of Calypso and Soca Monarch represent the heart of Crucian culture. Contestants perform original songs, bringing to life the history and stories of St. Croix, with judges voting for the best songs and performances.

COLORFUL PARADES

The Crucian Christmas Festival’s premier event is a traditional costumed parade featuring festivalgoers adorned in bright feathers, sequins and authentic island wear. The energetic children’s parade takes place on Jan. 5, followed by the adults’ parade and fireworks, marking the end of the festival on Jan. 6.

Get more details on the Crucian Christmas Festival schedule.

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