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2013 Agrifest Scheduled for Feb. 16-18 on St. Croix

The 42nd edition of the Agriculture and Food Fair of the U.S. Virgin Islands takes place from Feb. 16 to 18, on the grounds of the Rudolph Shulterbrandt Agricultural Complex in Estate Lower Love on St. Croix. More than 30,000 people are expected to attend. The theme is "Agriculture: Grow, Eat and Live." The entrance fee is $6 for adults, $3 for children and $4 for senior citizens.

Known by most simply as "Agrifest," the event is organized by the V.I. Department of Agriculture and the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service. It is presented this year by the V.I. Department of Tourism.

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Agrifest 2013 will be open daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., with the opening ceremonies scheduled for 10 a.m. on Feb. 16. The highlight of the ceremony is the presentation of the Farmer of the Year Award. A grand quadrille dance, where all are invited to participate, will follow at 1:30 p.m., with music by Stanley and the 10 Sleepless Knights.

The family fun includes interesting and attractive exhibits, demonstrations, entertainment, challenging competitions, rides and games, prize winning animals, delicious varieties of local food and beverages, and, of course, the fun and fellowship of sharing with friends and relatives from neighboring island. In addition to participants from all three Virgin Islands, guests are expected from Guyana, the British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Puerto Rico, Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Youth activities include an Agrifest Olympics and mini-rodeo, essay, poetry and poster contests, a hay bale decorating competition, a shoebox float contest and more.

The main exhibit building will house a farmer's market and displays by schools and youth groups. More than 50 spaces will be filled by farmers with fruits, vegetables and other plants, and more than 30 spaces will be filled with schools and youth exhibits. Exhibits by the University of the Virgin Islands Research and Public Service component, the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture will be housed in tents.

The Agriculture and Food Fair is a showcase for locally produced agricultural products, livestock, arts and crafts and native cuisine. Throughout the weekend, fair goers can sample local foods such as kallaloo, roast goat, roast pork, maubi, benye, paté, crab and rice, pumpkin fritters, dundesla, gooseberry, and peppermints. Agrifest provides an opportunity for residents and visitors to purchase fair t-shirts, post cards, the fair booklet and other souvenirs.

(This news release is based on information included in the Agrifest website -