The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism’s Division of Festivals supports the decision by the Government of the Virgin Islands to postpone Carnival on St. Thomas, scheduled for April 3 to May 4, to help fight the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte said that in keeping with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, which promote social distancing and avoiding mass gatherings, he was in full agreement with Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.’s announcement to postpone indefinitely the 68th edition of the island’s cultural celebration.
Boschulte thanked all stakeholders who supported the festival, including visitors, locals, staff, volunteers, vendors, troupes, sponsors and government agencies.
He added that the Division of Festivals team, led by Director Ian Turnbull, would reach out to vendors concerning the return of deposits and payments for the Carnival Village and Food Fair in the ensuing days. The team would also be in touch with corporate sponsors regarding their future participation.
“While this is disappointing news for our community, we must leave no stone unturned in joining the international community in arresting the spread of COVID-19,” said the commissioner. “Once this happens, we will announce our plans for the rescheduling of Carnival, the staging of St. John Celebration and other cultural events in the months ahead,” he added.
About the U.S. Virgin Islands Division of Festivals
The mission of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism’s Division of Festivals is to present high-quality heritage and cultural tourism experiences to residents and visitors by promoting and executing dynamic events and festivals across the U.S. Virgin Islands. The USVI celebrates three major annual events which display the rich history and cultural heritage of the territory: Carnival Virgin Islands (St. Thomas), St. John Celebration and Crucian Christmas Festival (St. Croix). Each event features music performances, beauty pageants, sporting events and food fairs.