St. John Folklife Festival Is Success

Actress Karen Jones Meadows performs her one-woman play about the life of Harriet Tubman for hundreds of St. John schoolchildren at the V.I. National park’s Annual Folklife Festival.

The 15th Annual St. John Folklife Festival was met with gorgeous weather, and was attended by hundreds of St. John residents and visitors.

The free festival, which in previous years was held at the Annaberg Ruins, was held at the ball field next to the V.I. National Park’s Visitor’s Center in Cruz Bay for the first time—making it easier for St. Thomas residents to attend, and allowing St. Thomas school children to spend more time taking in the sights and sounds.

Several booths were set up where arts and crafts, clothing and food were sold.

VINP employee Curtis Bridgewater sold Virgin Vanilla and other essential oils.


St. Johnian artist Karen Samuel sold local handmade crafts, postcards featuring prints of her paintings and clothing at the V.I. National Park’s annual Folklife Festival.

Civic Duty
Karen Samuel, who sold handmade crafts, clothing and postcards featuring prints of her artwork, said she attended the festival to represent St. John.

“I’m the one St. John artist,” said Samuel, who is a born St. Johnian. “They need authentic handcrafted things. I’m from St. John and I think it’s a civic responsibility.”

Samuel’s brother, local woodturner Avelino Samuel, was on hand to share his craft.

“People need to be reminded,” he said of woodturning, which is a dying art in the Virgin Islands.

The festival’s theme, “We Run Tings,” was a celebration of black women. Karen Jones Meadows performed a one woman, two-hour play on the life of Harriet Tubman to hundreds of Virgin Islands schoolchildren.

The festival also featured live music, storytelling and poetry readings.