The V.I. Dept. of Tourism has announced that the 2023 Carnival season in St. Thomas proved to be yet another successful showing. Following a brief hiatus during the pandemic and an abbreviated version in 2022, the Division of Festivals, an arm within D.O.T. responsible for the execution of the territory's carnivals, returned with an action-packed schedule of events, including pageants, fetes, and concerts.
The traditional Prince, Princess, and Queen pageants kick off the celebratory season, followed by the Calypso Monarch contest.
2023 St. Thomas Carnival Pageant and Calypso Monarch winners:
- St. Thomas Princess Na'Riyah Penn
- St. Thomas Prince Kriston Ward
- St. Thomas Jr. Miss Jahniya Williams
- St. Thomas Ambassadorial Carnival Queen La'Monee Morris
- St. Thomas Toddler's Derby Best Dress Doll Kalaya Freeman
- St. Thomas Calypso Monarch Richie Buntin
“We welcomed locals, the diaspora, and visitors alike to join us for a celebration like no other,” stated Division of Festivals Director Turnbull. “This year, we wanted to go bigger and better than ever before, spotlighting premier talent from throughout the Caribbean, including the superstars from our own backyard.”
The youngest members of St. Thomas took center stage on a bright Friday afternoon during the Children’s Parade, featuring junior troupes dressed in festive garments as they marked down Main Street.
Children’s Parade section winners:
- Majorette: STT Majorettes
- 1-50 Participants: Sun Children
- 100+ Participants: VIDE Things Bright, Beautiful & Balanced
- Steel Pan: Rising Stars
- Traditional: Eccentric Mocko Jumbies
On Saturday, April 29th, the highly anticipated adult parade featuring thousands of revelers divided between more than 20 troupes representing the Virgin Islands, and many other cultures from across the Caribbean.
Adult Parade Winners:
- St. Thomas Carnival Road March Song: Karnage “Shake Up”
- 1-50 Participants: Sparkle Carnival Troupe
- 51-99 Participants: Fete-Ah-Holic Carnival Troupe
- 100+ Participants: Infernos Carnival Troupe
- Steel Pan - Rising Stars
- Traditional - Shaka Zulu
The celebration continued every night in the festival village featuring fair rides and free concerts with performances by international superstar Machel Montano, local stars Adam O, Pumpa, and Dezarie, and Dancehall star Shenseea. Carnival season culminated with a final “Hard Fete Glow Night Concert,” including fireworks and performances by Lyrikal, Bunji Garlin, and FayAnn Lyons.
“On behalf of the entire Department of Tourism and Division of Festivals, I thank everyone for their combined efforts to make this year’s St. Thomas Carnival the best yet. As we return to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s celebration showed that the U.S. Virgin Islands is ready, growing, and will continue to soar,” stated D.O.T. Commissioner Joseph Boschulte. “Congratulations to all the winners and participants who revealed side by side, lifting our Caribbean culture as one. One V.I., One Caribbean.”