Let’s say you’re lucky enough to experience the height of Trinidad Carnival over the next few days. Let’s also say you have the stamina to head over to Martinique for their bonus days of revelry once the TnT fete winds down. If, after all that, you still haven’t had your fill of dancing in the streets under the warm Caribbean sun, then your next stop should be St. Croix for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
A Crucian tradition since 1969, the Parade bears a resemblance to the island’s more traditional Carnival-style celebration held during the Christmas Holidays, though with a decidedly Irish-American theme.
During my childhood in St. Croix, I always wondered why St. Patrick’s Day was such a big deal on the island. Seven flags have flown over St. Croix throughout its colonial history, but the Irish flag was never one of them. As far as I knew, Irish influence on the island was scant at best. So, why the big parade?
The full story of its origins can be found here. Read between the lines and you’ll learn something about a little quirk of island life in the Virgin Islands.
As stated in the story, a group of local businessmen were talking over drinks about holidays and “why St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t celebrated in the Virgin Islands, when so many other holidays were.”
These guys had a point. We celebrate a lot of holidays in the Virgin Islands. A LOT.
The list includes all U.S. public holidays (President’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc.), religious holidays (Easter, Christmas, etc.), and uniquely local holidays like Transfer Day and V.I./Puerto Rico Friendship Day. We even celebrate Boxing Day, which I’m guessing is a holdover from the days of British rule.
With such a loaded calendar of annual days off, why not add St. Patrick’s Day to the mix, especially if you’re going to build a big parade around it. Today’s video slideshow gives you a bit of a flavor of the event, which is held annually in Christiansted on the Saturday closest to St. Patrick’s Day. You can also see a few more videos here.
For more info on St. Croix’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, click here to visit the event website.