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St. Thomas Carnival, USA

El Carnaval de las Culturas es una expresión de la diversidad cultural y étnica de la ciudad de Berlín
Carnival of Cultures in Berlin, Germany
El Carnaval de CayMAS es una opción innovadora de los carnavales que les permite a las personas celebrar unas fiestas más democráticas e íntegras
CayMAS Carnival, Cayman Islands

 

What is Saint Thomas Carnival?

Saint Thomas Carnival is the largest celebration of the year on the island of Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands. Carnival is a grand celebration of the traditions, history, cuisine, culture, music and the genocide of Saint Thomas carried out in a traditional Caribbean way. The Saint Thomas Carnival is a month-long event, beginning with contests and calypso shows, ending the festivities in the most joyous way possible with J’ouvert, parades and fireworks..

Year after year, the island of Saint Thomas is painted in hundreds of colors to welcome one of the most charming and joyous holidays of the year. Everyone takes to the streets to party with incredible costumes, music in full swing and delicious food that you can only find here.

 

 

The Saint Thomas carnivals are sponsored by some private companies and governmental entities that facilitate their celebration. Some of the entities that collaborate in the celebration are: Stoli, VI Lottery, Dept of Tourism, WAPA, Brugal, Coors Light and many others. These sponsors contribute in the different aspects of the celebration such as beverages, food, entertainment and logistics.

 

Saint Thomas Carnival is one of the most anticipated events on the island. People celebrate their cultural identity and wear big colorful costumes.

Saint Thomas Carnival is one of the most anticipated events on the island. People celebrate their cultural identity and wear large colorful costumes

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When is the Saint Thomas Carnival?

Saint Thomas Carnival is a month-long celebration. It is usually held from the first days of April to the first days of May.

 

 

History of Saint Thomas Carnivals

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The first recorded Carnival in Saint Thomas was on February 14, 1912, while the second took place in 1914. These celebrations took place while the islands were still part of the Danish West Indies. These early celebrations of yesteryear included band activities, the Carnival Queen, traditional games and of course, a parade. However, after the second carnival held in 1914, it took more than 3 decades to bring back the Carnival festivities as we know them today.

During this time the island’s celebrations were carried out through music, costumes and dancing only on special days, holidays or other events of great importance. Some of these traditions began to lose spaces due to new elements that were the result of influence of festivities from other countries in the region or simply elements brought from other parts of the world.



In 1952, Ron De Lugo, a popular personality in the locality, began to devote some emphasis on the festivities, claiming his desire to celebrate carnival again. However, some people in the community believed that it was not a good idea to carry this out due to the economic situation and strong gap between social sectors. Despite this, the celebration took place with great participation and since then, it has had a large number of people every year.

The Saint Thomas carnivals have continued to evolve and add new and better elements every year, which has resulted in a celebration whose duration is about 4 weeks, encompassing a large program and itinerary of cultural and entertainment events. Today, the Saint Thomas Carnival is a celebration of great importance for the island, due to its wide cultural repertoire.

 

Where is Saint Thomas Carnival

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The Saint Thomas Carnival is held in the capital of the island, Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands in the United States of America.

 

People wear colorful and colorful costumes in the Saint Thomas carnival parade

People wear colorful and colorful costumes in the Saint Thomas carnival parade

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How is the Saint Thomas Carnival celebrated?

The Saint Thomas Carnival includes a wide repertoire in which you can find competitions, activities for children, community performances, contests and car shows, festivals, community meals, fireworks shows and many other activities.

In addition, the Saint Thomas Carnival offers some special spaces to celebrate certain activities of great cultural and entertainment importance.

 

Calypso Competition

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It is one of the most representative events of the carnivals, since a great competition of several stages is elaborated. The grand finale of the competition takes place on the last days of the carnival. Likewise, the Jr. Calypso Tent is also set up for presentations musical and junior artist competitions.

 

Competition for the Royal Carnival Court

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On the first days of Saint Thomas Carnival, the Carnival Princes and Carnival Queen competitions are held. The competitions are held according to the age of the contestants, being selected by a jury and the audience through a number of votes.

During her one-year reign, the Corte Royal must be present at numerousparades and social events in the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean, the United States and the world, making it one of the most hard-fought and important beauty competitions in the islands.

Competitors must go through a rigorous training and rehearsal program that includes clothing, diction, talent shows, dance, etiquette and other essential elements for the Royal Court Coronation.

 

Carnival Village

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Inside the village, dozens of stalls and shops are set up where Caribbean and local food, exotic desserts and international dishes are sold. In addition, the opening day is celebrated with a ribbon cutting, commemorating the start of activities.

Cultural Night

This event features cultural performances by different groups. The entertainment that is part of the night includes Cuadrilla dance, Maypole dances, masked dances, traditional dances, Zulu tribal groups, artistic gymnastics presentations, fire dancing, bands, DJs and national and international groups.

 

Motorized vehicle race

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This is a full day of competitions with motorized vehicles such as boats and lanchas. The race is held on the waterfront and prize giveaways are held, reaching up to US$20,000.

 

Food fair

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The fair is made up of small stalls wherelocal food, desserts, sweets and drinks are served. In addition, art pieces, handmade dolls, clothing, jewelry, candles, and handmade craft arts are also sold. Some of the most common dishes to see are crab and rice, pork, conch, fried fish, cakes, fried chicken, fruit preserves and pies. In addition, a winner in the different categories of stalls and shops will also be chosen.

 

Traditional games

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Carnivals offer different games of yesteryear in which both children and adults can participate. These are games that seek to transport people to the past so that they can once again become part of the traditions and games that were played decades ago.

 

J’ouvert

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It is one of the most anticipated of the celebrations. People take to the streets to party in full swing with music, entertainment and costumes. The event occurs early in the morning and people party with great excitement.

 

Parades

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Both the Children’s Parade and the Grand Parade are held with great excitement. The streets are filled with large cars and floats with musical and percussion groups that animate the participants and the public watching from both sides of the streets. The groups are also part of the event with costumes, choreographies and good vibes. In addition, the Royal Court is also part of the parade, leading the event in decorated cars or floats.

If you want to know more about tourism in this country I recommend this guide:.

 

Tips for going to Saint Thomas Carnivals

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If you want to visit the Saint Thomas Carnivals, we recommend you to plan your trip in advance, make an itinerary of activities and book your hotel in advance. Also, we remind you that admission to some carnival attractions and events is free; however, some other events such as competitions and performances have an entrance fee. We advise you to keep an eye on the program and the activities taking place to know the entrance fee.

 

Events at the Saint Thomas Carnival

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The Saint Thomas Carnival begins with the elimination of the calypso competition. This is followed by theCrowning of the Carnival Princes and Princesses show, giving way to the Carnival Queen Selection, both events taking place at the UVI Sports and Fitness Center.

Over the next few days, various events take place such as recreational activities for children, presentations, the Cultural Day and the Jr. Calypso Tent is set up. This is followed by the grand opening of the Carnival Village in the Fort Christian Parking Lot. Then a small event is held as a warm-up for the J’ouvert and the finals of the calypso contest are held.

 

 

In the middle of the month of Carnival, there is the placement of the Royal Court in Emancipation Garden, the Motor Vehicle and Motorboat Contest on the waterfront, a car show at Lionel Roberts Stadium and the Mamajuana Festival on the waterfront.

Finally, the last days feature different entertainment events, the food fair, the big J’ouvert at 4 am at the Villa Carnival, the Children’s Parade, the Grand Parade and the fireworks show at Carnival Village, thus ending the Saint Thomas Carnival celebrations.

 

Saint Thomas carnival parade takes to the streets with big colorful costumes

Saint Thomas carnival parade takes to the streets with big colorful costumes

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Saint Thomas Carnival Parades

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The Saint Thomas Carnival parades are divided into two: TheChildren’s Parade and theGrand Parade with the participation of adults. In the Children’s Parade, a colorful procession takes place with the participation of the youngest local children. In the adult Parade there are large floats with bands music and percussion that accompany the different comparsas that perform choreographies and wear thematic and colorful costumes.

In addition, the Royal Court leads the parade in luxury cars or decorated floats. The entire court wears costumes of princes, princesses and queens, ribbons with their respective titles and crowns and tiaras.

 

Parade Route

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Saint Thomas Carnival comprises a month-long repertoire of various activities

Saint Thomas Carnival comprises a month-long repertoire of various activities

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Parades are held on the various main thoroughfares of Charlotte Amalie in the Virgin Islands.

 

Crab rice is one of the island's traditional dishes

Crab rice is one of the island’s traditional dishes

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What to eat at the Saint Thomas Carnival

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One of the foods served at the carnival food fair are the Johnny Cakes, a kind of pancakes made with wheat flour, butter, sugar and egg, which are put to fry in plenty of oil. They are usually accompanied with some butter, syrup or jams.

In addition, you can also try one of the main dishes of the food fair, Crab with Rice or rice with crab. This dish is made with sautéed vegetables such as tomato, garlic, celery, peppers. In addition, it is seasoned with some herbs and served hot.

In addition, the city of Charlotte Amalie offers you some places to eat out such as: The Green House, Amalia Café, Tickles Dockside Pub, Big Kahuna Rum Shack and The Green House. These restaurants offer an extensive menu of American, Mediterranean, Caribbean and some vegetarian options.

 

Johnny Cakes are one of the gastronomic alternatives you can try at the Saint Thomas Carnival Food Fair

Johnny Cakes are one of the gastronomic alternatives you can try at the Saint Thomas Carnival Food Fair

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Travel Insurance

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From Carnavalesdelmundo.org we recommend to hire a good insurance to visit this carnival and to know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurances. Read more information about all insurance offers here:

 

 

What to see and do inside Saint Thomas Carnival

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Within the carnivals you have a large repertoire of activities in which you can participate. You can attend the calypso tournaments or competitions, the selection of the Royal Court, attend the cultural day, the different shows, parties andfestivals. In addition, you can watch the boat races and the final of the calypso competition.

You can’t miss the highlights such as the coronation of the Royal Court, the food fair, the inauguration of the Carnival Village, the J’ouvert and the parade, both children’s and adults’ parade. To finish, you cansee the great fireworks show that takes place in the Carnival Village.

If you do not want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in Spanish in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world

 

What to see and do outside of Saint Thomas Carnivals

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Some of the tourist attractions the city has to offer you are:

 

Blackbeard’s Castle

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It is one of the biggest attractions of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The building was erected in 1679 and in its surroundings there are some gardens, statues and historical monuments.

 

St. Thomas Synagogue

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It is one of the most historic synagogues in the United States and has been declared a National Historic Landmark. The synagogue was built in 1833.

 

99 Steps

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It is a tourist attraction that consists of 99 steps. The route is from Kongensa Gade to Blackbeard’s Catle. The attraction features a beautiful view of the city and the ocean.

Also if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your ticket in advance through Tiquets:.

Book tickets in the city you are visiting

 

Safety at Saint Thomas Carnivals

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The city of Charlotte Amalie is relatively safe. Some minor crimes do occur, but you have nothing to worry about, you just need to implement basic safety measures, keep your items of importance in a safe place and stay away from alleys and empty streets, especially at night.

If you decide to extend your visit into the summer months, keep in mind that the island has wildlife such as iguanas, which do not pose much of a threat. However, if you see any, do not disturb them as they can become violent if they feel threatened or in danger.

Also, we recommend the following products to safely store your items:

 

 

Weather at Saint Thomas Carnival

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The city of Charotte Amalie has a pleasant climate during the Saint Thomas Carnival celebration. The temperature of the place ranges between 25 and 29 degrees Celsius with little chance of precipitation.

Remember to pack light, comfortable clothing and footwear so you can fully enjoy the carnivals, as well as stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.

 

Saint Thomas Carnival is a celebration of the cultural identity of the Virgin Islands

Saint Thomas Carnival is a celebration of the cultural identity of the Virgin Islands

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How to get to Saint Thomas Carnival

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How to get there by plane

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The nearest airport is Cyril E. King International Airport. However, the airport receives mostly flights from the United States and some European countries.

If you wish, you can land in the city of Miami and then head to the airport on the island. In addition, direct flights are also offered from New York. Once you are at Charlotte Amalie airport, you can use the different means of transportation to get to the city center.

We recommend buying airline tickets through Kiwi.com or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review Kiwi.com..

 

How to get there by ferry

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Saint Thomas receives a large number of ferries from Saint Thomas, Miami, Norfolk, Virginia and New York City.

 

How to get there by car

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From the airport you can take a cab or private vehicle to downtown. The ride is about 5 minutes and if you decide to go by cab, the price ranges between 15 and 20 US dollars.

 

Where to stay at Saint Thomas Carnival

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Some of the hotels in and around Charlotte Amalia include:

 



Booking.com

 

Olga’s Fancy

3 star hotel 1.1 km from the city center. Rooms feature cable TV and private bathrooms with toiletries. The hotel also has an outdoor pool, garden, terrace and free parking.

 

Windward Passage Hotel

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3 star hotel 500 meters from the city center. The hotel is next to the ferry terminal, has a spa, casino, free wifi, offers American and continental breakfasts, a bar with lots of cocktails and a swimming pool. The rooms have air conditioning, balcony and private bathroom with basic toiletries.

 

The Mafolie Hotel

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3 star hotel 1.1 km from the city. The hotel is located just 300 meters from the Caribbean Sea, has a restaurant, swimming pool, the restaurant serves a variety of meats, seafood and breakfast. In addition, the rooms have a simple decoration, balcony and television.

 

Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham – St Thomas

4 star hotel 6 km from the city. The hotel is 700 meters from Coki Beach. It also has a swimming pool, bar, beach entrance, wifi, restaurant and bar. The rooms have cable TV, DVD player, private bathroom with shower, hairdryer and basic toiletries.

We recommend you use Booking.com to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:.



 

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