VInow Logo
The Virgin Islands Best Guide
Cruise Ship Schedule Ferry Schedule Travel Forum

Virgin Islands Carnival

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!

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, Carnival 1952.

Highly Anticipated Carnival Events

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.

If you would like to know what events are scheduled for this year’s Carnival please use our Events Calendar

St. Thomas

Carnival BandThe 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.

St. John

Carnival Pan BandCarnival in St. John is a combination of celebrating the traditions of carnival with emancipation and independence. A month long event; festivities include musical venues, the village, food fair, parades and fireworks. St. John Carnival occurs in late June and traditionally culminates on July 4th with a 4th of July Carnival parade. Although St. John has a smaller population then it’s sister islands it certainly comes to life for Carnival. More specifically Cruz Bay comes to life as all the events are centered in the Cruz Bay area. Ferries making trips between St. Thomas and St. John are usually filled as revelers head over for special events like the opening of the village and the parade.

St. Croix

St. Croix hosts its Carnival Festival events during Christmas through New Year. Christiansted and Frederiksted share responsibilities of having events. Calypso shows, Latin music venues, food fairs, horse races, parades and more contribute to the spectacular month long event. The adult’s parade, often the last big event and coincides with Three Kings Day.

Activities, both private and public, come to a slow stop during the month long events anticipated for Carnival celebrations. Preparations start months before with costume making, rehearsals for the parade and competitions. In the first few days of Carnival there are pageants for king and queen of the band, Carnival queen and prince and princess. The tempo picks up with numerous musical events like calypso shows and steel pan venues. The action intensifies with the opening of the village, food fair and j’ouvert. Carnival raps up with parades and often a beautiful display of fireworks.

Island Tours

St. John

Star Fish Tours & Taxi Service

Star Fish Tours & Taxi Service

St. Thomas

Islander Taxi Service Inc.

Islander Taxi Service Inc.

St. Thomas

Flamons Taxi & Island Tours

Flamon’s Taxi & Island Tours

St. Thomas

Mr. Nice Guy Taxi & Limousine Service

Mr. Nice Guy Taxi & Limousine Service


Get over 200 of the most famous rum drink recipes!

Have a rum-themed party and serve planter's punch, Virgin Islands Rum Runner, Bushwackers, Mojitos, jolly roger, Jamaican banana or tia rumba, strawberry colada, tidal wave, lifesaver or one of the many others in this great little book! 80 pages.

Order Today: $7.95


Stay up to date with news from VInow.
Sign up to receive Virgin Islands articles, updates and offers.
Missed our last newsletter? Read it Here.

Advertise with Us

Join Today!

Connect with travelers that are planning vacations right here, right now. More

Virgin Islands Moving Guides

Updated information dedicated to Moving and Living in the USVI.

VI Moving Center

Living in de V.I. DVD

Virgin Islands Shopping

The largest section of Virgin Islands Books & Souvenirs. Start planning today!

Official Sponsor
Team Virgin Islands