would encourage their slaves to work harder. The 30-day
festival begins in early June, but major events take place on
July 4th and 5th.
Festival Village , constructed along the waterfront, is the
site of stalls selling local foods, drinks and handicrafts.
There are pony rides and games for children, who are more
involved in Carnival here than on St. Thomas.
Residents and visitors dance through the streets to the beat
of calypso and reggae bands, which come from all over the
Caribbean to take part in the fun. The bands move through
town on the back of trucks. The finale is the Festival parade,
led by the newly crowned Queen and the traditional mocko
jumbie stilt walkers. They are followed by floats, gaily at-
tired bands, singers and dancers, all of whom have designed
and created their outfits and songs to fit a central theme.
Prizes are awarded and a good time is had by all. Fireworks
that evening are the last official event of Festival.
St. John's Blues Festival
Live-music parties and a big open-air show
are the main events at St. John's Blues Festi-
val, which started in 2002. Composer and re-
cording artist (and St. Johnian) Steve Simon
and some friends noted that music festivals were common on
the mainland and other Caribbean islands, but there were
none in the USVI. Thus a tradition was begun and has
proven very popular. The open-air concert is held at the
Coral Bay Ball Field on the last night of the festival. It starts
at 7:30 pm and the admission charge is $25. Food and bever-
ages are included. Bring blankets or sand chairs. The three
nights prior are set aside for live-music parties held at res-
taurants in Cruz Bay, Coral Bay and Mongoose Junction.
The music typically starts at 8 pm and is free. The money
raised goes to “The Safety Zone” an organization that aids
women with domestic problems. The festival is scheduled at
the end of March. For up-to-date detail,
(340) 693-8120 or