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HomeNewsLocal news72nd St. Thomas Carnival Celebration Kicks Into High Gear

72nd St. Thomas Carnival Celebration Kicks Into High Gear

A photo of the Carnival Children’s Parade on St. Thomas in 2014. (Source file photo)

Themed “Join Us On A Cultural Tour, Like Never Before, St. Thomas Carnival 2024,” the upcoming carnival season is sure to be an explosive melting pot of both culture and community. This annual celebration on the island of St. Thomas commences  Saturday with the Prince and Princess Show.

The festivities continue into the following week with the Queen Show slated for April 20, the Hospital Show April 22, the Toddler’s Derby April 26, and the Calypso Monarch Competition, Boat Race and Panorama, all on April 27.

The highly anticipated opening of the Carnival Village is slated for April 29 and will feature nightly performances over six nights. This is a venue where more than 30 food and drink vendors will gather with thousands of residents and visitors alike to embrace a fusion of food, music, and dance.  One of the unique facets of the Carnival Villages in the Virgin Islands is that entry into the events is completely free. This tradition underscores the community belief that Carnival should be accessible and inclusive to everyone.

The Carnival Village line-up includes international performers Sizzla, Machel Montano, Jada Kingdom, Kes the Band, Grandmasters, and Shaggy. There will also be performances by local music sensations Adam O, Rudy Live, Karnage, Spectrum Band, VIO International and Blind Earz, to name a few.

“The anticipation around this year’s St. Thomas Carnival is at an all-time high, and the Village night performers reflect the continued influence and growth of our territory’s three carnivals,” said Tourism Department Commissioner Joseph Boschulte.

“Every year, our goal is to pay homage to the vast Virgin Islands and Caribbean culture that is at the cornerstone of these annual celebrations for natives and visitors alike,” added Division of Festivals Director Ian Turnbull.

The Carnival festivities continue May 1 with the Food and Cultural Fair, where local businesses can showcase arts and crafts, hand-made jewelry, and traditional food and beverages. Additionally, local farmers will be on hand offering an array of herbs, fruits, medicinal tinctures, as well as homemade liquors and hot sauces.

J’ouvert, May 2, attracts revelers into the streets for hours of music, dance, and jubilation. This annual celebration is a sacred practice that began as an act of resistance by enslaved people against colonial powers. Today, it is a practice that pays homage to that bravery and sacrifice, as well as celebrates the spirit of revolution and freedom in our community.

May 3 and May 4 feature the Children’s and Adult’s Parade. Both parades feature colorful costumes and displays of cultural celebration. Spectators line the streets and enjoy performances from Moko Jumbies, steel pan orchestras, majorettes, and more.

The St. Thomas Carnival season ends with the Utopia Unity Concert, May 5, featuring stars like Burna Boy, Rock City, and Spice.

For more information about the Carnival schedule and events, please visit https://www.visitusvi.com/experiences/carnivals-festivals.

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