Celebrate the Fourth of July in style on St. John
The Fourth of July isn’t only a big deal on mainland USA, you know. Visit the tiny island of St. John at the beginning of July – or even at any time during June – and you’ll see how islanders like to celebrate Independence Day. We’ll give you a clue… it involves floats and fireworks.
The island’s month-long carnival is a spectacular way to mark Independence Day.
Although it started as a one-day event, St. John’s unique Independence festivities have now evolved into an extravagant one-month-long carnival, simply known as the St. John Festival. Starting on 2nd June with the (rather anti-Independence) celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, the town of Cruz Bay is then ceremoniously ‘opened’ to visitors and the streets are instantly lined with stalls selling a variety of delicious island foods (don’t miss the conch in butter sauce, the fried fish and, most of all, the Johnny cakes) and truly distinctive local arts and crafts (look out for some cut-price local jewelry, musical instruments and artworks), while energetic steel-pan drummers and traditional dancers entertain the adoring masses.
But that’s not all. Over the course of the month-long festival, there are several events – from beauty contests to variety shows to bike and boat races – to keep everyone happy. Then, on the Fourth of July itself, celebrations culminate with a parade of bizarre but impressive floats through Cruz Bay, followed by a spectacular fireworks display high above the town’s harbor.
As the light of the fireworks slowly fades over the glistening Caribbean Sea, and as islanders joyfully hug one another, it’s clear that there’s no nicer way to celebrate Independence Day.