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ST THOMAS — The long-awaited return for St. Thomas Carnival 2023 is finally here! April in St. Thomas is a lively spirited time thanks to the revelry and celebration that Carnival brings. “Illuminating our Culture for the World to See, St. Thomas Carnival 2023” is this year’s theme, which perfectly captures what it is all about – the culture! From beauty pageants, food festivals and calypso monarch to J’ouvert, street tramps and parades, St. Thomas’s culture will be on full display for the 2023 Carnival celebration! “Carnival season on St. Thomas is such a wonderful time of year,” said Tourism Commissioner, Joseph Boschulte. “It allows us to showcase our culture, including our music, delicious food, history, design, and creativity.”

The festivities kick off on Saturday, April 8th with the Prince and Princess pageant followed by St. Thomas Carnival Queen Show on Saturday, April 15th. The winners of these coveted pageants will be the faces representing St. Thomas throughout the entire Carnival season. The next round of events includes the Junior sand Calypso Monarch competitions where per-formers are judged on crowd participation, melody, lyrics and overall performance.

The highly anticipated Food Fair starts at 10am on April 26th in Emancipation Garden. Local street foods & drinks, arts and crafts and live mu-sic will be on display at the “Knights Delight” Food Fair, named in honor of baker extraordinaire Goldine Burton-Knight. Next on the schedule is the foreday morning event known as J’ouvert. Often viewed as the official and spiritual start of Carnival, the 6am start on April 27th will be where revelers take to the streets on the waterfront complete with music trucks, paint, powder, water and drinks.

The headquarters for carnival is St. Thomas Carnival Village. Opening on April 24th, this year’s village is named in honor of Kelly “Pupa Kelly” Charleswell. A study of classical trombone at the University of the Virgin Islands, he performed with Puerto Rico Symphony and Eartha Kitt (the original Cat Woman), to name a few. However, he is best known for singing and playing guitar with the Awesome Jam Band of St. Thomas. Each of the six Village Nights will offer free local and international performances with 30-plus vendors sell-ing local foods and drinks alongside fun family friendly rides and carnival style games.

Another major highlight of St. Thomas Carnival is the Children’s and Adult Parades along Main Street in Charlotte Amalie. According to the Division of Festivals, there are 40-plus entries this year during the April 28th and 29th presentations. The carnival season culminates with a stunning firework display at 9pm on the 29th. For the complete carnival schedule, visit USVI Festivals Facebook page at

Written by Anquanette Gaspard