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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the Virgin Islands

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the Virgin Islands can be just as fun as celebrating in Ireland itself! Here are a few of the best places to visit on St. Patrick’s Day in the Virgin Islands, the history behind each island’s celebrations, and what you can expect when you visit: 

 

chartMontserrat: Celebrating A Fusion of Irish and African Heritage

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the Virgin Islands isn’t just a fun after-work or weekend activity, like it is throughout the U.S. In Montserrat, it’s an actual national holiday! This British protectorate in the Virgin Islands celebrates St. Patrick for a full 10 days so rather than just a single St. Patrick’s Day in the Virgin Islands, you can enjoy a full St. Patrick’s week.

 

The reason St. Patrick’s Day is so important on Montserrat is two-fold. For one, Irish Catholics, persecuted for their religion, arrived to the island in the 17th century and brought their traditions (including celebrating St. Patrick’s Day) with them. Additionally, March 17 marks the date of a large slave revolt on the island in the mid 1700s. Irish and African descendants ended up coming together to celebrate their heritages and form a completely unique St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the Virgin Islands. 

 

With a torch lighting ceremony, freedom run, parade, and plenty of delicious Caribbean and Irish food— this is a can’t miss St. Patrick’s Day event. 

St. Croix: One of the Largest Parties of the Year

Not to be outdone by their British neighbors, in 1969, the residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands decided it was time to create their own St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the Virgin Islands! They started with one float— a stakebed truck with a piano on top, singing Irish tunes! 

 

Now, this parade marks one of the biggest parties of the year in the VI. The parade itself starts at 11am in downtown Christiansted, however, the party goes well into the night with live music and delicious food. You can learn more about the day’s festivities here.

St. John: A Laid Back St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration

If you are looking for a more laid back way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the Virgin Islands, St. John’s festivities may be right up your alley. While the island does feature a parade, it’s one of the shortest in the world. So don’t be late or you could easily miss it! 

 

Additionally, you don’t have to sign up to enter your float or vehicle. Just show up an hour before the parade to decorate your vehicle and yourself! The parade then starts at noon at the roundabout near the Quiet Mon Pub and ends shortly after, down by Woody’s. 

 

Afterwards, the Quiet Mon is usually the place to be for continued St. Patty’s Day fun. Once you’ve had your fill, you can quite easily escape to a different location on the island to find yourself back in the tranquility of white sandy beaches and glistening waters — and free of the green sea of partygoers!  

The best way to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day in the Virgin Islands is by sailboat! For one, you don’t have to worry about finding parking ashore (which is always a headache during large celebrations in the VI). Secondly, you can always retreat to your quiet, peaceful boat if you’d like to escape the drunken debauchery on land. And possibly most importantly, a sailboat makes it easy to island hop between parties and experience how each island is celebrating!

 

If you choose to bareboat charter on St. Patrick’s Day with Go Sail Virgin Island, we recommend sailing to Montserrat a few days before St. Patrick’s Day to check out their week-long celebration. Then, on St. Patrick’s Day chose between another big party on St. Croix or a more relaxed St. Patrick’s Day on St. John. 

 

If a captained sailing trip is more your style, ask your Go Sail captain how to best plan a tour of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in the Virgin Islands! For example, you might choose to take the morning slow in St. John and enjoy their quaint parade before heading over to St. Croix for the evening festivities!