The US Virgin Islands’ popular St John Celebration is back again this year, with plans for the biggest and best version of the event since the onset of the pandemic.
While scaled-back events were held in 2020 and 2021, this year’s event will be held in person, following the success of St Thomas Carnival in April.
Locals and visitors will gather in Cruz Bay, St John for most of the events, which run from June 26-July 4.
“Being able to host the St. John Celebration and Emancipation Day this year is an exciting testament to how far we’ve come, and it signals a liberation from the pandemic much as it does from the historic oppression that July 3 and 4 represent,” said Ian Turnbull, director of the USVI Division of Festivals.
The event kicks off with Pan-O-Rama, a steel pan celebration and food fair on June 26. That’s followed by the opening of Village on June 30, with local vendors’ booths with food, drinks and family-friendly day and night performances.
July 2 is the pre-dawn celebration of J’ouvert, followed by the Emancipation Day Cultural Program on July 3 and the Parade Day and Fireworks on July 4.
“The U.S. Virgin Islands is the only territory in the Caribbean with three Carnival celebrations annually,” said Joseph Boschulte, the US Virgin Islands’ Commissioner of Tourism. “St. Thomas was a step in the right direction to return to pre-pandemic levels and we look forward to celebrating with our locals and returning visitors again.”
Carnival celebrations in St John date back to the early 20th century a blend of African, European and Caribbean traditions.
In St John, Carnival takes place during Emancipation Days local holiday commemorating the abolition of slavery, and the 4th of July, which commemorates the US’ Independence.
In 1960, July 4th celebrations in St John evolved into Carnival, with the festival lasting more than one week.
For more, visit St John Celebration.