St. Thomas Carnival is a famous, month-long festival held in St. Thomas every year. Starting with music festivals and pageantry, the celebration gets intensified during J’ouvert hardcore partying and fireworks. This festival is actually a way to celebrate the local culture and traditions through parades, Caribbean music, and outstanding cuisines.
When we hear the word Carnival, some exciting pictures start to form in our minds. For music lovers, the festival is about steel pan and calypso shows. The food lovers might think of it as treats filled with Caribbean culinary delights and savory cuisines. While someone who has attended a Carnival parade will think of it as feathery costumes, dance, and fireworks. This is actually the beauty of Carnival that this month-long festival has lots of joyful activities for everyone.
This cultural festival is a BIG DEAL for the local Islanders. It is also among the most famous and anticipated events across the Caribbean. Throughout the event, people celebrate their freedom and life by dancing, partying, music, pageantry and so on. In the night, there are captivating performances by the musician and breath-taking fireworks make the scene even dramatic. Moreover, the Caribbean culture is displayed through costumes, parades, masquerades, craft fairs, and food booths.
Although some may call it a great grand party, it is actually something more than that. Carnival is, in fact, a way to revive the culture and heritage of the Caribbean. People gather together to celebrate the treasured traditions of St. Thomas and embrace their local customs.
History of St. Thomas Carnival
During the mid-1600s, the European brought their culture and traditions to the Caribbean. At that time, many African slaves were also brought here for developing plantations. Although, the enslaved Africans were not allowed to openly practice their customs in the Caribbean. But still, a merger between European and African traditions took place following the coming years. And the current version of Carnival consists of festivals from both cultures. Which were reinvented and interpreted many times before reaching the current state.
The first Carnival was celebrated in St. Thomas in 1912. However, it took 38 years to make it an official event in 1952. After that, the Islanders continued to celebrate Carnival festivities years after years. And now the event has gained worldwide popularity even beyond the Caribbean.
Favorite Events at St. Thomas Carnival
This year’s Carnival is scheduled between April 6 to May 4, 2019. And there will be a series of events taking place between these days. However, following are some of our most favorite events that you should attend this year.
There is no denying that Music is one of the major ingredients of St. Thomas Carnival. That is why the festival starts with a calypso elimination contest. In this contest, talented Calypsonian Musicians compete with each other to win titles such as Calypso Monarch. This event will be further followed by Junior Calypso competition on 25 April. While the results will be announced on 27 April.
It would be a great experience to follow this whole competition. As you will find plenty of chances to enjoy and party around.
Children and Adult Parade
These two Parades are the most famous events of Carnival with a high number of attendants. There are troupes dressed in colorful costumes, dancing on loud music. The whole atmosphere seems magical with crowds cheering and dancing together. In fact, if you plan to join a parade troupe, it will be the most incredible experience for you. Otherwise, you can also enjoy the fantastic view from the sidelines.
End your magical Carnival by enjoying the dazzling display of fireworks at Charlotte Amalie harbor. This year, amazing fireworks will light up the sky at 8 pm, during the last day of the St. Thomas Carnival that is 4 May. And you should attend them as it’s the most perfect way to wind up the festivities of the Carnival season.
Full Calendar of St. Thomas Carnival
If you would like to review the full calendar for this year’s St. Thomas Carnival click here.
Visiting St. Thomas
If you are planning to visit this beautiful island to attend Carnival. Then don’t forget to check out Renaissance Jewelers on main street. Look for our green sign. Because we have some exciting gifts to offer for those who visit us for the first time. Contact us now to claim your special gift! Please note: we will be closed for Thursday May 2nd through Sunday May 5th for some of the main festivities so stop in early!