U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS - In light of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, St. Croix is taking its Crucian Christmas Festival online this year.
Given the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands' moratorium on large crowds, and in an effort to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, the popular annual event will take place virtually from December 11, 2020 to January 6, 2021, with a robust lineup of music, entertainment and online group events.
"2020 has been a year full of surprises," said Ian Turnbull, Director of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism's Division of Festivals. "But we have to adapt. We know how much joy the Crucian Christmas Festival brings to Virgin Islanders and our visitors, so even though we can't dance and revel in person this year, we can still enjoy the festival virtually and be together in spirit."
The month-long celebration, organized by the Division of Festivals in collaboration with the Crucian Cultural Group, will showcase St. Croix's culture and heritage with events such as a dialogue about the history of masquerade and mocko jumbies (Virgin Islands stilt-walkers) presented by renowned stilt-dancer Willard John, and Chalana Brown, Director of the Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education, on December 18. On December 29, a virtual Crucian Culinary Showcase will bring a taste of St. Croix to online viewers.
Music is also an integral part of the Crucian Christmas Festival, and this year is no exception. Highlights include performances by the island's legendary quelbe band Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights on December 23 and 24, and three virtual Village Nights - Cultural (December 25), Reggae (January 1) and Calypso (January 2).
For early-bird revelers, there will be a virtual version of J'ouvert, the traditional dawn parade, dubbed "Jou'Virtual", on December 30. Viewers can also catch reruns of both the adults' and children's parades from last year's pre-pandemic festival on WTJX Channel 12 on January 1 and 2.
Adding more fun and fitness to the mix, trainer Simone Ware will livestream her Capri Curves exercise boot camp on New Year's Eve as part of the Festival activities. The St. Croix native, who has held her boot camps on various national platforms and boasts nearly 500,000 followers on Instagram, will help Virgin Islanders head into 2021 on a healthy and active note.
To help encourage and support Virgin Islanders living abroad to return home, the Department of Tourism will offer opportunities to win trips to the USVI to attend future Carnival and Festival events. The Department will also announce opportunities for local residents to win free event tickets or other prizes.