Welcome to the 2016 Opening of Carnival Village! The theme for carnival this year is “There is Nothing More Fabulous than Carnival in St. Thomas.”
Carnival in the United States Virgin Islands is an annual event that continues throughout the entire month of April. The festivities attract thousands of tourists each year from around the world. Carnival is also a joyous occasion that unites family and friends who once resided in the Territory but now live off island.
Some of the events that have already taken place are the Stoli & Budweiser Calypso Elimination Tent, the Vita Malt Prince & Princess Show, the Queen Selection Show, Best Dressed Doll, Toddler Derby & Traditional Games, Carnival at Schneider Hospital, Junior Calypso Competition, and Cultural Night.
After the Opening of Carnival Village, the events that will follow days after are the Water Sports Activities, Steel Pan Jamboree, Senior Citizens Quelbe Tramps, Cultural Food Fair, Captain Morgan J’ouvert, the Children Parade, the Adult Parade, and Fireworks. All of the events are loads of fun, but tonight, I am focusing on the Opening of the Carnival Village.
This event took place at the Fort Christian Parking Lot in Downtown Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Before the ceremony, Governor Kenneth Mapp, the Carnival Queen Kamarsha Potter, and Lt. Governor Osbert Potter cut the white ribbon. Carnival Village was now officially opened! Then the crowd walked over to the Carnival Children Village to watch Gov. Mapp, Carnival Princess Laila Evelyn and Lt. Gov. Potter cut that ribbon; symbolized the official opening of the Children Village!
Shortly afterward, the ceremony began when members of the Carnival Committee and Government Officials recognized Jam Band, a popular local band for their outstanding contributions in helping to shape and mold the music industry for many years in the Virgin Islands.
The layout of the village was as follows: Some booths encircled the central part of the village. The booths, painted with a variety of colors that further exemplified the bright carnival theme. They were competitively decorative as the owners were challenged by the Carnival Committee to design the booths to reflect the village honorees. The Carnival Village theme was “It is Show Time in Jamband.” Ultimately, Booth #5 won the competition and a huge trophy. Just in case you are wondering, hot food, beverages and snacks are all sold at the booths. In the center of the village, the stage was well lit and decorated.
Carnival Village is where a series of concerts takes place while hundreds of carnival revelers gathered around to listen, dance or enjoy the live entertainment. The artists who performed tonight were Nikki Brooks, St. Thomas All Stars, Milo’s Kings, DFS Entertainment and Asylum featuring Bunji & Fayann.
The western side of the Carnival Village is similar to a small amusement park. There are a variety of rides that go around fast enough to make you scream to the top of your lungs. There are tasty snacks of all sorts that are available for sale. Some of them are freshly made popcorn, hot dogs, cotton candy, and delicious candy apples with different dressings.
There are also a lot of fun and challenging carnival games in which there are prizes to be won. Tonight I am hoping to win an over-sized Scooby-Doo stuffed animal! Right outside the village, you will find vendors who are selling toys, carnival-themed t-shirts, and hats.
Overall, I had a blast at the Opening of Carnival Village. It will remain open every night from 6:00pm-3: 00 am until April 30th.
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