I still remember my first St Croix Christmas Boat Parade in 2001. I had just moved down to the island the week before and was feeling a bit sad about missing Christmas in New England. That all changed the day I experienced the Boat Parade and realized that St Croix truly is Christmas Island! I remember standing at the Deck Bar on the board walk with a few friends and thinking – Yep, this is where I am meant to be. It was magical.
Started in 1999 as a volunteer effort and celebration of the boating culture here in the VI, the St Croix Christmas Boat Parade has become the largest boat parade in all of the Caribbean and it just keeps growing! Volunteers work tirelessly for months putting things together, acquiring sponsorship for the fireworks display and host numerous meetings to ensure that the boat captains know all of the rules and put safety first. Then the boats pull their crews and friends together to go overboard decorating! There are boats with DJs and bands and they really go all out.
Nowadays, its a day-long celebration in the historic town of Christiansted. There are festivities for the kids and and fairs where you can find local made crafts and other goodies for gift-giving. Shops are open in town and there are festivities on the boardwalk throughout the day.
The real show kicks off at dusk when the parade begins with boats decked out in a spectacular display of lights and holiday cheer.
Don’t miss this fantastic Crucian Christmas celebration – be sure to be in town EARLY so you get a good spot!
If you’re not here this year, start making plans for a St Croix vacation next year built around this terrific event.