Good Morning Everyone! The Friends of Virgin Islands National Park in partnership with the National Park Service will host the 30th Annual Folk Life Festival today at Peace Hill and Annaberg in celebration of the rich culture of the Virgin Islands.
In a normal year, the festival would span the weekend with a celebration including appearances by Mocko Jumbies, cultural dance performances, presentations, native music and local food. With social distancing mandates still in effect, this year is a bit different with two limited on site events occurring this afternoon at Annaberg and Peace Hill.
If you are on island, the two events will take place until 2pm today and “offer ample space to follow social distance guidelines while visitors safely enjoy music, dance, storytelling, along with Moko Jumbies.” Masks will be required.
But, like many other annual fundraisers and events that took place virtually during this pandemic, the Folk Life Festival has taken VI cultural awareness and education to the web in a one hour movie. So, if you are not here you can enjoy this entertainment and education from home in anticipation of your next visit!
To honor the hallmark anniversary, in partnership with Virgin Islands National Park Service, the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park and its media sponsor WTJX have created a timeless interpretation of the festival as told by the performers and artisans who bring it to life year after year in a film.
The film is entitled “Passing it on to Another One” and aims to illuminate and celebrate the rich culture of the Virgin Islands. Included in the mini-documentary is commentary and inspirational tales from bearers of the Virgin Islands Culture that have participated in the festival over the past three decades. The participants deliver “colorful interviews and demonstrations of their expertise in the cultural arts, music and crafts of the Virgin Islands.”
The commemorative poster is a collage of posters from years past designed by St. John artists. The posters are available at the Friends VINP stores on island and online.
Friends VINP extends “Special thanks to the culture bearers, performers and artisans who participated in the making of the film – and for their dedication to keep Virgin Islands culture alive for generations to come! As you bring the past to our youth today, so do you ensure a strong, bright future built upon the ancient knowledge of our ancestors!”
I hope you will take a bit of time this weekend to walk down historical paths of Virgin Islands culture with those who have worked so hard to honestly represent it and keep the awareness alive for their future generations.