Come year end, the VI is host to some of the best and most famous holiday parties in the world! Trade in your puffer coats for Carnival beads, and snow drifts for white sand beaches. This holiday (or next), take to the Virgin Islands streets to dance until dawn.
Old Year’s Night
Foxy’s Old Year’s Night (New Year’s in the VI) on Jost Van Dyke draws an annual crowd of up to 5000 celebrants from all over the globe. This is a bucket list event for professional party people! In past years, Foxy’s has booked such legendary performers as Bunny Wailer and Shaggy to ring in the new year.
Admission to the outback stage and beach party is free! Getting to the small island of Jost, population 297, presents challenges (a boat ride and customs check-in), so crowd control is regulated by geography. First comers buffet dinner is $20 per person. Prefer to be behind the velvet rope? Foxy’s $500-per-person ticket includes a VIP all-access pass, seating on the exclusive second-level, party favors, a six-course gourmet seafood dinner, and all-night open bar!
Crucian Christmas Carnival
Don’t want the party to stop? Most Caribbean islands hold a month long festival called Carnival. With unlimited money and time, theoretically you could hop from Caribbean island to island and celebrate Carnival all year long. (And what a year that would be!) However, if you only have a couple of weeks to get away like most people, the St. Croix Carnival is for you.
One of the wonderful things about the Carnival celebration on St. Croix in the USVI is that it coincides with the Christmas/New Year holiday. Crucian Christmas Carnival opens on December 11th and continues through January 7th, 2017. Most Carnival activities on St. Croix happen in Frederiksted. (St. John’s Carnival is June/July, and St. Thomas’s April/May)
In the Virgin Islands, Carnival celebrations include bands and other entertainment; pageant competitions for the Carnival Royal Court; cultural activities; and fairs that showcase local arts, crafts, foods, and drinks. The month of events culminates with J’ouvert and the Carnival Parade.
J’ouvert, meaning daybreak in French, is a dusk to dawn street party. Starting the night before the Carnival Parade, tourists and locals alike pack the streets to follow music trucks in a winding, frenzied cavalcade. All inhibition is set aside in this annual free-for-all of dancing and reveling. Those with fortitude, a youthful spirit, and a tolerance to alcohol reach the goal – to remain standing at morning light!
The Carnival Parade is the last official event of the Carnival festivities. The parade features groups of dancers in procession. Many of the favorite troupes have existed for decades. These dance troupes craft matching costumes featuring long feathered headdresses, sequins, spangles, and ropes of beads. Some fierce, some beautiful, some sexy – the majorette led dances range from masterful choreography to improvisation. Sandwiched between dance troupes are moko jumbies, steel pan bands, fire dancers, and more. St. Croix or other island Carnival festivals are unique opportunities to sample the authentic cultural heritage of the Caribbean.
Of course, winter holidays in the VI are not all rum soaked and scantily clad. To suggest this would to betray the strong moral values of the largely Christian culture. The wild celebrations in this article, for many, are the one time of year to cut loose – a tradition as old as human history.
In the Virgin Islands, many holiday traditions are sacred and full of grace – Christmas concerts that will make you weep, beautiful Masses and services, breathtaking lighted boat parades, and family gatherings of all types.
If you want to party with jet-set celebrities, we have that. If you want to get away from the cold, string lights in a palm tree, and enjoy a sun drenched holiday with all the trimmings, we have that too.
Have yourselves a merry Caribbean Christmas and the best of new years! See you soon!
Tags:Christmas, Fetes, Holidays, New Year, Parties
About the Author
Catherine Turner spends her time sailing in the Caribbean, blogging from her MacBook Pro on the beach, and sipping coconut water from the nuts that plop into the sand next to her. Before tuning in and dropping out Catherine was a nightclub owner and a resort showgirl. A lifetime ago, she spent a decade chained to a desk as a computer programmer/data analyst. She loves to write, paint, snuggle, and to practice yoga. If she doesn’t answer her phone, she is probably in the middle of the ocean somewhere. Leave a message.