U.S.V.I. Announces Schedule for 68th Annual St. John Carnival 2022 

The U.S. Virgin Islands Division of Festivals has announced the schedule of events for the 68th annual St. John Celebration.

St. John Carnival, also known as the St. John Celebration, is the second of the three annual Carnivals among the major islands of the U.S.V.I. It will take place from June 26 to July 4, 2022. After scaling back events in 2020 and 2021, St. John is bringing back the festivities in person following the success of St. Thomas Carnival in April. Locals and visitors alike will gather around Cruz Bay for the majority of the events. Participants and spectators can expect traditional food and vendors, calypso and soca music, dancing, mas parades and more.

Ian Turnbull, director of the Division of Festivals, said, “Being able to host the St. John Celebration and Emancipation Day this year is an exciting testament to how far we’ve come, and it signals a liberation from the pandemic much as it does from the historic oppression that July 3 and 4 represent.”

More details will unfold leading up to the event, but the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism has shared the main schedule:

  • June 26: Pan-O-Rama, a pre-Carnival steel pan celebration; food fair featuring local vendors
  • June 30: Village Opens with more than 18 local vendor booths of food, drinks, family friendly day events and nightly performances
  • July 2: J'ouvert, the pre-dawn celebration
  • July 3: Emancipation Day Cultural Program
  • July 4: Parade Day and Fireworks

U.S. Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte said, “The U.S. Virgin Islands is the only territory in the Caribbean with three Carnival celebrations annually. St. Thomas was a step in the right direction to return to pre-pandemic levels and we look forward to celebrating with our locals and returning visitors again.”

The Carnival celebrations on St. John dates back to the early 20th century and is a mix of African, European, and Caribbean traditions. In St. John, Carnival takes place during Emancipation Day, a local holiday commemorating the abolition of slavery, and 4th of July/Independence Day, the U.S. holiday commemorating independence. In 1960, the 4th of July celebrations on St. John evolved into Carnival and the festival lasted more than a week.

In between events, locals and visitors can explore the island. Just a quick ferry ride from St. Thomas, St. John is easily accessible by visitors to the main cruise port. St. John is the smallest of the three islands made up of two-thirds protected National Park with 9,500 acres of green hills and an underwater reserve. The island can be explored on more than 20 self-guided hiking trails or by snorkeling or diving its fish and coral-filled waters. The island also boasts some of the world’s top beaches, including Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay. The main towns are Cruz Bay with shops and restaurants, and quaint Coral Bay.

For more information on the U.S. Virgin Islands and Carnival, visit www.visitusvi.com and www.usvifestivals.vi.

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