St. Thomas Carnival

St. Thomas Carnival
Photo by Don Hebert

Everybody Love de Carnival

Everybody love de 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 dey love their Carnival.

– Don’t Stop the Carnival by Duke of Iron

St. Thomas Carnival History

Adolph “Ding” Sixto was said to be the driving force behind St. Thomas’ first carnival in 1912 by convincing the Main Street merchants to sponsor the affair which he would be economically, culturally and socially beneficial.

The Carnival King arrived at King’s Wharf on a boat and then was carried to Rothschild Francis Square (Market Square) in a horse-drawn carriage for the coronation of the Carnival Queen. A parade marched from there to Emancipation Garden, where games, such as climbing the greased pole, the bag race and catching the greased pig, were played by both youngsters and adults.

A second carnival was held in 1914, with the celebrations lasting two days.

The advent of World War I, with its devastating effect on the shipping economy of St. Thomas, halted what was becoming an annual tradition until 1952, when carnival was formally revived. Since then, the carnival has been celebrated on an annual basis, taking place during the last two weeks of April. The St. Thomas Carnival is now the second largest carnival in the Caribbean, topped only by the island of Trinidad.

Carnival features include music by popular calypso, scratch and steel drum bands, Moko Jumbies, a Children’s Carnival with games and amusement park rides, and local foods.

St. Thomas Carnival Schedule

April 30, Wednesday – Cultural Fair: Charles’ and Joe’s Flamboyant Garden, honoring Charles and Joseph Leonard 8 a.m. — Emancipation Garden

May 1, Thursday 12:30 a.m. Roas-A-Time (J’ouvert) Warm up — Roas-a-Time — Fort Christian Parking Lot; Roas-A-Time at 4 a.m. — Veterans’ Drive

May 2, Friday 10 a.m. Children’s Parade, Grand Marshal Alfred “Chubby” Lockhart Jr. — Rothschild Francis Square to Lionel Roberts Stadium

May 3, Saturday 10 a.m. Adults’ Parade, Grand Marshal Lubin V. “Butch” Roberts — Western Cemetery to Lionel Roberts Stadium; Fireworks at 9 p.m. — Charlotte Amalie harbor; Calypso Spectakula/Last Lap at 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. — Fort Christian Parking Lot

St. John and Virgin Islands News

These Friends Quit Their Jobs And Started Brewing Beer In Paradise
The Huffington Post | by Catherine Pearson

After graduating from the University of Vermont in 1999, friends Chirag Vyas and Kevin Chipman did what most college grads do: They started looking for jobs. Vyas moved to California and took a position as a support scientist with NASA. Chipman got a job as a physical therapist with an acute care hospital in Boston.

Two years later, they took what they thought would be a brief pause to evaluate their career trajectories. Chipman had recently visited St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and suggested they head there for a bit. They thought it would be “essentially, just one last little ‘hurrah’ before we got into the rest of our lives,” Chipman told The Huffington Post. They gave their notice and bought one-way tickets. They were both 23 at the time.

A Rough Start

Upon arriving in St. John, the duo began looking for employment. But it was the off-season, and soon after the Sept. 11 attacks to boot, so the local economy was slow.

“Money was running out. We ended up living on a sailboat, because it was the cheapest option,” Vyas told HuffPost. “It didn’t have any electricity or running water or a working head, but we managed to make it work for about a month.”

“The boat sucked,” Chipman added. “We laughed ourselves to sleep.”…read more


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