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Sailing into the St. Croix Festival

There’s no better way to celebrate the holiday season in the U.S. Virgin Islands than with the Crucian Christmas Festival! Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming St. Croix festival:

diagram, textWhen is the Crucian Christmas Festival?

St. Croix’s festival begins on Tuesday, December 26 with a pageant and wraps up on Saturday, January 6 with a parade, fireworks, and Afrosoca Night. Each day throughout the week-and-a-half long St. Croix festival offers something unique and exciting. For example, if you visit on December 29th, you’ll be welcomed into international cultural night. On the other hand, if you join the festivities on January 5th you’ll get to see the children’s parade! 

What is the History of St. Croix’s Carnival?

In 1952, the St. Croix festival became an annual event. However, the tradition dates back much earlier. When colonizers brought slaves to the Caribbean islands in the 1600s and 1700s, the slaves brought traditional holiday and festival traditions with them. As missionaries began introducing these slaves to Christian holidays, they began to incorporate their traditional celebrations with European ones. In the early 1800s enslaved Africans on St. Croix had time off to celebrate Christmas and New Years and those celebrations that fused African and European traditions still live on today through the St. Croix carnival. You can read more about the history of the USVI carnivals and festivals here.

What Should I Plan to See at the St. Croix Carnival? 

No matter which day or days you choose to go to St. Croix during the Crucian Christmas Festival, you are sure to find a variety of fun activities to enjoy! The best way to enjoy the St. Croix festival is to go in with no plan at all— just show up and soak it all in. However, spending at least a few days on the island for the Crucian Christmas Festival is recommended so you can get a feel for the festivities as a whole. Every day offers something completely unique and fun! You can view the full line up of activities here. 

Where is the Crucian Christmas Festival?

The heart of the St. Croix festival is in downtown Frederiksted. Downtown Frederiksted comes alive throughout the festival. Roads are closed for parades, streets are lined with booths during food, arts, and crafts fairs, and open spaces are buzzing as soon as the Carnival Village opens! 

How Do I Get to the St. Croix Christmas Carnival? 

Getting to Frederiksted during the St. Croix Carnival can be quite a challenge. Finding parking can be seemingly impossible, for example. However, there is an easier way! Rather than fighting for limited parking on land — you can moor or anchor a boat just off-shore. Don’t have your own boat? Not to worry. You can charter a bareboat from Go Sail Virgin Islands. Not only will this make parking less of a hassle, you won’t have to fight to find a hotel either. Enjoy staying aboard your well-maintained and spacious boat once you’ve finished up celebrating on land! Learn more about renting a bareboat for the St. Croix festival here.