St. Thomas Carnival officially kicked off with the opening of Carnival Village Monday night. Local food booths and vendors greeted Virgin Islanders and visitors who flooded the Fort Christian parking lot, ready for a night of food, fun and fete.
Commissioner of Education and Mistress of Ceremony Dionne Wells-Hedrington had the honor of engaging and hyping up the crowd for St. Thomas Carnival 2023.
Before introductions were made, the posting of colors was performed by the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School JROTC, an 11th-grade student from Charlotte Amalie High School sang the national anthem and a third-grader from Jane E. Tuitt Elementary school sang the Virgin Islands March before the ceremony was opened in prayer.
Wells-Hedrington also introduced key players who made it possible for another year of celebrating to take place.
This year’s honoree, Kelly Charleswell, also known as Pupa Kelly, was celebrated on stage for his outstanding influence on music and performance in the Virgin Islands.
At the close of the ceremony, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. greeted the crowd with thanks and well wishes for a happy and safe Carnival.
After the ceremony, people of all ages were ready to get Carnival started as they began to dance to the music, enjoy food from one of the 32 food booths, check out the local vendors and head over to the Children’s Village to enjoy the rides.
As nightfall came more people began to flock to the Village for the first night of entertainment and to hear the sounds of Machel Montano.