This year’s 2019-2020 festival season was one for the books according to Sen. Allison DeGazon also thanked the community and the Virgin Islands Police Department for keeping the holiday season incident-free for all attending. This year, under the newly established Division of Festivals for the Department of Tourism, the Crucian Christmas Festival hosted over 20 events, not to include the dozens of parties hosted for club-goers and by non-profit organizations, and each went off without a hitch.
“I’d like to thank the community and VIPD for making sure that this year everyone had an
enjoyable festival season, and also the Division of Festivals for raising the bar on what residents and tourists can expect for one of our most anticipated and highly attended cultural events,” DeGazon said.
DeGazon also gave special thanks to the millennial face of the festival, Shamari Haynes, founder of one of the largest festival troupes on St. Croix—Simply Savage—and now Assistant Director of
the Division of Festivals for St. Croix. Haynes has since given up his title of his troupe to his co-
founder Wendy Aurelien to focus on his new role.
“Haynes is a prime example of what happens when we include our younger generations as
part of the process for our territory,” DeGazon said. Haynes himself was proud of this year’s turnout. “This year’s festival was one for the books; a new book actually. All events ran smoothly and were all violence-free. Although we had a late start for the Adults Parade, I could proudly say that it was worth it. There were no long gaps, and everything flowed well,” Haynes said.
Christiansted this year also gained some shine for a festival which has typically been neglected over the last few years. “We introduced new events to include the breakfast fete and Jou’Day which both took place on the Christiansted bypass,” Haynes said. “Entertainment was inclusive of both local and international acts featuring some of the very best in the soca and calypso industries Caribbean wide. I thank the Crucian community for doing their part and I pray that this is the first few steps in the right direction.”
DeGazon said she is looking forward to seeing what the Division of Festivals has prepared for the St. Thomas Carnival. As chair of the Committee on Economic Development, Regulations and Agriculture, DeGazon said she also plans to again discuss with the Department of Tourism ways to gain cheaper flights the territory—specifically to St. Croix—an issue she previously brought awareness to as recently as last October.