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March 31, 2009 at 10:52 pm #30434
The word Carnival brings to mind an assortment of images; for music lovers it might mean heated Calypso shows and for children it brings to mind amusement park rides and cotton candy. To those who enjoy Caribbean delicacies Carnival may mean food fair and food/drink booths at the village. And to anyone who has experienced the Carnival parades, the word certainly brings to mind steel drums, bands, colorful costumes, people of all ages dancing in the streets, mocko-jumbies and fireworks. And if none of these images came to mind, perhaps you have never experienced Carnival in the U.S.V.I. Join us now, as we introduce you to Carnival!
Highly Anticipated Event
‘Everybody love the Carnival, No don’t stop de Carnival, Do as you like, but leave my Carnival, All West Indians love their Carnival, Everybody bound to have their fun, No rain at all can stop de Carnival, Not even hurricanes can stop de Carnival because all de Creole de love their Carnival.’ (Don’t Stop the Carnival by Duke of Iron. Calypso theme song for Carnival 1952.)
There is no denying that Virgin Islanders love Carnival! It is the most anticipated cultural event of the year! Carnival is a festival celebrating freedom through dancing, singing, parades, pageantry, music, drinks, food, friends and fun. It includes nightly displays of talented bands and individual musicians, pageants for Carnival royalty and fairs showcasing local crafts, food and drinks. Carnival however is much more than a large party. It is an exposition of culture and a treasured tradition that is passed down year after year. It draws on African and European customs including music, dancing and masquerades. Carnival can be found throughout the Caribbean and is celebrated on various islands at different times of the year. In the United States Virgin Islands Carnival events take place on St. Thomas in April/May, St. Croix in December/January and St. John in June/July.
The carnival tradition in St. Thomas began in 1912, however it would be 38 years before the festival would become an annual event. In 1952 Ron de Lugo revived Carnival in St. Thomas and we have been celebrating every year since. St. Thomas hosts the second largest Carnival cultural celebration in the Caribbean. It is a month long event that includes calypso shows, food fair, queen pageants, steel pan shows, parades and more. St. Thomas’ annual post-Easter Carnival is an incredible spectacle of spirit and tradition.