This article originally appeared in AAA Travel Views and has been modified.
There is nothing quite like St. Croix during the holiday season, which starts early in December and continues well past New Year’s. The whole island gets caught up in the celebrations ranging from pageants, parades, music performances, and fairs featuring local food and crafts.
The holiday season officially kicks off when the street decorations provided by the Gentlemen of Jones appear in Christiansted, one of the two main towns on St. Croix. The tradition of lighting-up the town began 50 years ago by the original group of friends who ultimately became known as The Gentlemen of Jones — today this is an eclectic group of young, old, political leaders, businessmen, and local residents.
The lighting of Christiansted usually precedes the Christmas Spoken Here Festival held at the St. George Botanical Gardens. This festival brings together a day of gift shopping for arts and crafts with the sampling of a wide variety of homemade treats: roti, johnnycake, and other sweet delights such as cakes, pies, tarts, and cookies. The day is topped off by several school choirs performing traditional and island holiday music.
Frederiksted, the second largest town, is also busy setting up the Christmas Village and viewing stands for the children’s and adults’ parades, which are part of the Crucian Christmas Festival. Festival highlights include the selection of Miss St. Croix along with the Prince and Princess, the Calypso competition, fireworks, and loads of other activities.
Neighborhood tramps are also likely to break out during the holiday season. Tramps are spontaneous street parties led by a local band playing in the middle of the night, usually while riding in the back of truck. Neighbors all come out to join the group as the band rides through their neighbourhood. And no island would be complete without a Christmas boat parade with all sorts of watercrafts decked out with lights, music playing, and revelers working their way through the harbour, while landlubbers enjoy from the shore.
Kwanza and Hanukkah observances also take place during the season, each with their own unique traditions. The Danes hold their own special gathering for the Friends of Denmark. The Danish influence is quite evident throughout the island — Friends of Denmark is made up of islanders of Danish descent – and Danish residents keep the ties between mother country and former colony alive. The Friends of Denmark Christmas party features the traditional beverage glogg. Three Kings Day, the traditional Hispanic holiday commemorating the arrival of the three Magi at the Nativity, is celebrated on January 6.
Now that you know some of the highlights you can go out and enjoy your Christmas in St. Croix, Cruzan style.
If you are interested to visit St. Croix, contact one of our travel agents.