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ST. THOMAS CELEBRATES 70 YEARS OF CARNIVAL IN THE VI 

the poster for the 70th anniversary of the st thomas carnival 2022

Written by Coconut Post

Whether you’re in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands as a visitor, a local — or always in spirit — Coconut Post keeps you posted on fun-filled news ’n views. Published monthly by Flamboyan On The Bay Resort & Villas, we’re focused on sharing our people, places, and fun things happening in paradise.

April, 2022

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the U.S. Virgin Islands announced the 70th edition of “Carnival Virgin Islands” on St. Thomas will be held from April 27 to May 1, 2022. 

This year’s theme is “A New Cultural Roogadoo for Carnival 2022.” Although the event has been scaled down due to COVID-19, it will showcase the island’s culture, cuisine, history, music, and people.

Ian Turnbull, director of the Division of Festivals, announced, “We are finalizing plans to promote and advance the Territory’s culture through the return of carnival and festivals in 2022.” 

St. Thomas Carnival 2022 will include four village nights — “Deh Village De Lugo”— honoring the late Ron de Lugo, the first and longest-serving Delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the United States House of Representatives. 

Above: After a two-year hiatus, Carnival celebrations return to St. Thomas.

a black and white photo of ron de lugo smiling

Above: The 2022 Carnival Village honors Ron de Lugo (1930 – 2020)

Prior to his long career in politics, Representative de Lugo had gained territory-wide fame for helping to found WSTA Radio and for creating and developing his on-air radio persona, the wisecracking comedian “Mango Jones.”  

In 1952, de Lugo was credited for using the popularity of his radio show to revive St. Thomas Carnival, making it an annual event.

De Lugo, the longest-serving V.I. delegate to congress, was only 26 years old in November 1956, when he won his first election to the U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature.

For the next 38 years, until his retirement in 1994, de Lugo played a pivotal role in the social, economic and political development of the Virgin Islands community. 

a woman sears a lavish neon pink and bright green costume in the adult parade for st thomas carnival
a woan dressed in a costume smiles at the camera during the st thomas adult parade
a man walks in costume in the carnival parade in st thomas usvi

As St. Thomas Carnival 2022 honors de Lugo, it will offer fun events such as a Food Fair, boat races, a Calypso showcase, stage a specially-tailored J’ouvert (sunrise) celebration, and re-crown of the territory’s first carnival queen, Carmen Sibilly.

Children’s Village will be in operation during the festivities and a virtual costume competition for children will be staged in conjunction with the Department of Education.

During all activities, COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to and followed according to the V.I. Health Department’s current rules and regulations. Additionally, the V.I. Carnival Committee reserves the right to impose additional safety restrictions.

Commissioner of Tourism, Joseph Boschulte, commented that highlighting cultural traditions, heritage and festivals is part and parcel of a major push to attract visitors to the territory. “And as we emerge from the challenges presented by the pandemic, it is inspiring to witness the passion of our community as we restart and re-energize the spirit of Carnival in the Virgin Islands,” he said.


Below is the currently published
2022 Carnival events schedule and
may be subject to change:

For additional information, visit usvifestivals.vi


April 27th – Food Fair in Crown Bay; Carnival Village Opens in the Fort Christian Parking Lot

April 28th – J’ouvert Celebration in the Village from 4a.m. – 9a.m;  Reggae Night at Fort Christian

April 29th – Big Band Night at Fort Christian

April 30th – Masquerade Night at Fort Christian

May 1st – Boat Show On The Waterfront; Pan-O-Rama 

two woman walk down the main street in charlotte amalie during the adult parade in st thomas usvi
a woman smiles surrounded by her troupe all dressed in bright orange with fruit and feathers on their heads in the adult parade st thomas carnival
mocko jumbies walk in a troupe in the st thomas adult parade st thomas usvi
image of a coconut and pineapple both wearing sunglasses on a beach

COCO BITS

A BIT ABOUT THE FIRST CARNIVAL

 In 1911, Adolph “Ding” Sixto traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to attended that city’s renowned Carnival celebrations. Inspired by the experience, he brought the concept home to St. Thomas and on February 14, 1912, the first St. Thomas Carnival was held from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. It included confetti battles, greased pig-catching competitions and boat races as well as a torchlight masquerade. Brightly attired clowns served as a form of crowd control, cracking their whips to keep spirited revelers from disrupting the parade. Deemed a grand success, Carnival was held again in 1914 but with the advent of World War I, festivities came to a close until officially established in 1952 as an annual event.

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