When planning a US Virgin Islands vacation, there will be plenty of things to keep you busy. The stunning beaches here are as idyllic as you could want them to be, and historic points of interest like the Annaberg Plantation surely captivate the imagination. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. For those who want to add some extra flavor and substance to their USVI getaway, there are various US Virgin Islands events, festivals, and holidays to consider. Should you enjoy one of these yearly occurrences, you will gain valuable insight into the people and culture of the US Virgin Islands, which can go a long way in making for a more interesting trip.
Various St Croix events, St Thomas events, and St John events take place throughout the year, so between the three main islands, you will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate a special occasion. As far as the US Virgin Islands holidays are concerned, the territory pretty much follows in the footsteps of the mainland. However, there are some local additions to the calendar to also consider. On March 31, the US Virgin Islands celebrates Transfer Day, for example, which marks the transfer of the islands from Denmark to the United States. Emancipation Day is observed on July 3, and it marks a most significant date in USVI history. On this day in 1848, the governor of the then Danish Virgin Islands abolished slavery, which would be a key factor in the decline of the territory's sugar plantations.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, each of the main US Virgin Islands has its own events and festivals. At the top of the list for St Thomas events, and for US Virgin Islands events overall, is the April/May Carnival. The St Thomas Carnival is free to visitors, and it is a celebration of the local people's African and European roots and customs. Music and dancing are key components of this week-long gem among US Virgin Islands festivals, as are interesting masquerades and other festivities. The USVI capital city of Charlotte Amalie is where the bulk of the Carnival celebrations take place, but really, it's an all-island kind of party. Be sure to keep an eye out for the children's parade, which is quite adorable. Interestingly enough, a different Carnival also figures among the St John events, and it's held at the end of June and the beginning of July. During this fun offering for US Virgin Islands festivals, the locals dress in colorful costumes and take to the streets of Cruz Bay. They are accompanied by local bands, and quite common are figures on stilts, which are known as "mocko-jumbies".
The St John Carnival also integrates July 3 (Emancipation Day) and July 4 into its celebrations, so you're getting a few different US Virgin Islands events in one when you catch this affair. Independence Day, or July 4, is probably the signature event when it comes to the St John events, so if you can at least make it here for this one, you will be in for a show. Over on the island of St Croix, those who enjoy the Christmas season might want to align their visit with the St Croix Crucian Christmas Festival, which is certainly among the best St Croix events. The Christmas celebrations go on throughout the entire month of December on the island, culminating in a fun parade on January 5. This parade is quite like a Carnival celebration, meaning that it is quite festive.
Turning the page to an entirely different consideration for St Croix events, anglers might want to consider taking part in an annual fishing tournament. The Wahoo Tournament is just one of the fishing-related US Virgin Islands events, and it takes place in November. Arts and Crafts festivals, music festivals, and yacht races are just some of the other kinds of US Virgin Islands festivals that visitors can consider taking part in. For those who like food festivals, the Taste of St Croix festival is one of the St Croix events to add to your list of possibilities. It takes place in April and highlights US Virgin Islands food and local chefs. Yes, there is certainly quite a bit of variety when it comes to US Virgin Islands events, and experiencing one or more of them can help make for a most unforgettable US Virgin Islands vacation.