Festival Parade 2017

  • Tue, 4 Jul 2017
  • 11:00 AM
  • St. John National Park
  • Natalie Thomas (340) 690-1725

Carnival is for everyone, from small children to adults. The children’s parades offer the youth of the Virgin Islands an opportunity to dazzle. The parade on St. John involves children and adults in one.

Adults' Parade

Beautiful costumes, great music and the wonderful energy and spirit of Virgin Island’s people make the adults parade a success every year. Thousands of Virgin Islanders and visitors turn out for the adult’s parade. The adult’s parade on St. John usually includes troupes from St. Thomas and takes place in Cruz Bay.

Entries vary in theme. Each theme performed by established troupes, some of which have performed in the VI parades for years. Troupes like Party Lovers, Jesters, Gipsy Troupe, Infernos and Intrigue are regulars to the parades. Examples of themes from past adult’s parades are ‘Legends of the Gods’, ‘Sweet Fantasia’, ‘From the Land of Make Believe’ and ‘Fun-kadelic’.

Some troupes are small with only a dozen or so participants while others are very large with 100 to 400 people. Huge costumes are worn by members of larger troupes. These large costumes often span the width of the parade route. Traditionally the larger costumed masqueraders will be found in St. Thomas and St. Croix parades.

Preparations for Carnival parades begin as soon as one Carnival celebration has finished, so often a year in advance. The costumes worn during the parades are intricate works of art and take months to prepare. Costumes include a whole range of colors and materials. Participants in parade on St. John frequently wear costumes that include lots of red, white and blue as well as traditional yellows, oranges, red, as the St. John Carnival parade usually coincides with the 4th of July!

The adult’s parade participants are usually adults, however some older children also participate. Politicians, professors, businesses people, doctors, secretaries, even visitors perform in the adult’s parade. The parade is a wonderful celebration to see and participate in!

Children's Parade

Participants in the children’s parade range in age from 2 years old and up. The children dance, twirl, jump, march and masquerade through the streets with smiles on their faces. In the past rain showers have briefly fallen during parades. And although the children marching in the parade are often too young to tell you the significance of ‘rain can’t stop the Carnival’ their persistence to perform and undaunted spirit says they understand.

The children’s parade usually consists of around 40 entries. Each entry includes music and children dressed in colorful costumes. Parents and friends walk with the children as motivation and support for the young participants. Participants are part of a troupe, and traditionally each troupe has a theme. Themes include mocko jumbies, circus members, candy land, clover fun, Japanese dragons, childhood wishes, Indians, majorettes, cats, dogs, aliens and more.

Steel pan bands are a main ingredient in the parades. Troupes usually march to music provided by steel bands like the Rising Stars Steel Orchestra and the St. Thomas All Star Steel Orchestra as well as school bands. Local music groups like Jam Band and Men at Work sit in trucks and play while moving down the parade route. Troupes dance and perform behind the moving bands.

The children do an excellent job, and the parade is always a wonderful success. Visitors often comment on the energy and overall performance of the children. Making comments like ‘that was really amazing, the smallest kids were out there really having a grand time, it was great’.

St. John Festival 2017 Festival Parade 2017