For the next two weeks, St. John is putting on the closest thing it has to Carnival. Festival 2007 will feature music, children’s beauty pageants, boat races, a food fair along the Cruz Bay Beach, and a finale of fireworks launched from a barge in Cruz Bay on the night of July 4th. (Here’s a schedule of events, courtesy of Virgin Voices).
Graeme Davis, the former general manager of the Westin Resort and Villas, will be Marshall of the festival’s parade, which features floats and costumed marchers. Davis, now an executive with Starwood Hotels for the Caribbean and Florida, was an ardent supporter of festival while he was at the Westin. The hotel’s float entries often won awards.
If you’re on island on the 4th, don’t miss the parade. It begins 11 a.m.
Now, of course, it is going to be hot. Blazing sun is certainly possible. But, oh, the sights you’ll see.
Several steel pan bands will play, the "mature" majorettes can be counted on to "one-two-three-kick" past the Park, and there will be plenty of tasty, spicy island food being sold by women who’ve been cooking all week.
While the festival and the Cruz Bay parade are hardly daily occurrences, the friendship, music, and fun are great reminders of how the island has been and can be. Don’t go to the beach on the 4th. Go to Cruz Bay.