St Thomas Carnival made its triumphant return this past weekend in the US Virgin Islands.
The 70th annual edition of St Thomas Carnival was an “eclectic celebration of culture and tradition,” according to the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.
After two years of virtual events, Carnival returned in person with five days of food, music and culture, with traditional elements like J’ouvert and Parade with a modern lineup of artists and events.
“St. Thomas Carnival was a labor of love and a step in the right direction to returning to pre pandemic levels”, says Ian Turnbull, Division of Festivals Director. “We wanted to be bold and integrate some of the more traditional cultural elements like live bands and calypso for our older generations, but also cater to the younger generation with some newer, modern, local artists. The community’s response and support were incredible to witness, and it was clear there was a longing for Carnival to return in person.”
That included five consecutive village nights, with local and world-renowned artists like Beres Hammond, Kes the Band, Spectrum, Rock City and Adam O, among others.
“The positive impact Carnival has on tourism in our territory is evident. It’s a treasured and beloved event for all, and our airlift and hotel capacity over the past week proves this, says Commissioner of Tourism, Joseph Boschulte. “In between events, visitors can enjoy our beautiful pristine beaches, delicious cuisine, marine life, sister islands of St. Croix and St. John and so much more. We look forward to continuing this longstanding tradition and welcoming visitors to enjoy our culture for many centuries to come.”
It’s the first of an action-packed festival year for the USVI.
Next on the agenda is St John Festival, slated for late June through July, while St Croix Christmas Festival is slated for December.