St. Thomas Carnival – the Pearl of the Caribbean

St. Thomas Carnival is the place to go if you want to have the time of your life! It is a high energy, vibrant and colorful celebration in a tropical paradise!

April 4th, 2020

May 2nd, 2020

Days to start

What is Carnival in St. Thomas?

st thomas carnival

In the Virgin Islands, carnival is a big deal! Carnival is the biggest and most anticipated annual event in St. Thomas! The St. Thomas Carnival is the biggest party of the year. The locals love their carnival and the St. Thomas Carnival is a sensory explosion of colorful costumes, masquerade parades, Caribbean music and revelry.

St. Thomas Carnival is about celebrating life and freedom which is done through costumes, dancing, parades, parties, pageantry, music, food, drinks, singing, family, friends and lots of fun. There are loads of live music shows, pageants, fairs and mouth-watering local food and drinks consumed.

But carnival is so much more than just one giant party! St. Thomas Carnival is about celebrating and embracing local culture and the unique traditions and heritage of the island, which are a mix of both African, European and Caribbean customs.

When is Carnival in St. Thomas?

st thomas carnival

Carnival in the US Virgin Islands occurs at different times throughout the year. The St. Thomas Carnival an annual post-Easter Carnival, usually held around April/May. St. Thomas Carnival is actually the second largest Caribbean Carnival celebration, as it runs as a month long event.

The official 2020 St. Thomas Carnival dates will run from April 4th to May 2nd 20.

Where is Carnival in St. Thomas?

st thomas carnival

Saint Thomas is located in the Caribbean Sea. Along with St. John, Water Island and St. Croix, it forms the United States Virgin Islands. The territorial capital and port of Charlotte Amalie is located on the island and this is where the majority of the carnival activities will occur.

What is the history of St. Thomas Carnival?

st thomas carnival

Carnival in St. Thomas began over 100 years ago! The first carnival was held in 1912 as a way to celebrate local culture. But it took 38 years before the carnival was officially turned into an annual event! In 1952 a man named Ron de Lugo revived carnival in St. Thomas and the celebrations continued to grow in popularity ever since.

How do they celebrate carnival in St. Thomas?

st thomas carnival

Carnival in St. Thomas is a month long celebration filled with events. You have dazzling pageants and talent shows that are about electing the carnival royalty. There are loads of fun and random events like a greased pig contest, boat races and a toddlers derby.

There is also some very prestigious set of elimination contests which reward the top entertainers called Calypso Tents. These performers usually offer satirical commentary about affairs on the island or will often mock politicians and the elite.

There are loads of live music shows featuring calypso, steel pan or soca music. Lots of chances to dance and party. There is a colorful firework displays, amusement park rides and loads of activities for the kids.

The last week of carnival in St. Thomas is when things really start to heat up and the more popular events occur as well as most of the hard core partying. The most popular events are J’ouvert, a morning jump up, the crowning of the Carnival King and Queen and the Food Fair.

The most popular events with the highest attendance is the two parades, the children’s and adults parade which feature the most colorful costumes, floats, decorated troupes, loud music, incredible dancing. The parades head along the parade route which begins below Main Street and make their way to Lionel Robert’s Stadium.

St. Thomas Carnival 2019 official Schedule

The official 2019 St. Thomas Carnival schedule


  • Saturday 16th – Calypso Elimination
  • Sunday 14th  – Carnival Prince and Princess Pageants
  • Saturday 20th – Carnival Queen Show
  • Easter Sunday 21st – Easter Sunday Fun Day
  • Monday 22nd – Carnival at Schneider Hospital
  • Wednesday 24th – Cultural Day
  • Thursday 25th  – Junior Calypso Competition
  • Friday 26th  – The Carnival Village Opens – Remains Open till last day of carnival
  • Saturday 27th – Calypso Finals
  • Sunday 28th – Steel Band Jamboree
  • Monday 29th – Soca Monarch Competition
  • Tuesday 30th – Senior Citizens Quelbe Tramp


  • Saturday 16th – Calypso Elimination
  • Wednesday 1st – Cultural Fair
  • Thursday 2nd  – J’Ouvert and Wet Fete
  • Friday 3rd – Children’s Parade
  • Saturday 4th – Carnival Firework
  • Sunday 5th – Last Lap

How to get to and around St. Thomas

st thomas carnival

There are only two ways to get to St. Thomas and that is by air or by sea. There is a major airport located on St. Thomas; the Cyril E. King Airport. There are numerous non-stop and connecting services from the US mainland. To get a quote for a flight click here.

There is public busses that run around St. Thomas but your best bet is to rent a car at the airport. There are many leading car-rental firms offering competitive rates. Alternatively you can also use a taxi to shuttle you around the island. Get a quote for a rental car here

Where to stay in St. Thomas

st thomas carnival

This really depends on your budget and the level of comfort your are seeking. There are so many accommodation options in St. Thomas from luxury resorts and hotels, to apartment rentals and budget accommodation. If you want to be close to everything the best place to stay is on the East End near Red Hook as there are great beaches, shops restaurants and close to ferry to St. John.

Check out some accomodation deals here. 

What to do and see in St. Thomas

st thomas carnival

Tourists from all around the world flock to St. Thomas because of its abundance of natural beauty. Seafarers love St. Thomas because of its sheltered harbors that were loved ever since pirates sailed the seas.

St. Thomas is actually one of the busiest and most developed ports in the West Indies. Charlotte Amalie, the island’s historic capital is full of life. You can immerse yourself in the capital, enjoying the hustle and bustle, grab a drink at a beach bar in Frenchtown, relax the day away on any one of the beautiful beaches or sail the beautiful turquoise bays and explore secret coves.

For more information about tours, things to do, sightseeing tours, day trips and more click here.

Before you go!
We can’t stress enough the importance of travel insurance! Never travel without coverage! Being protected on your travels gives you an irreplaceable peace of mind. Don’t learn the hard way about the importance of travel insurance. Get a quote through our recommended insurance provider, World Nomads!

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