(Originally published at

St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands: St. John is often referred to as the “sleepy isle” of all the United States Virgin Islands. Compared to the strong commercial pull of downtown Charlotte Amalie and the twin cities of St. Croix, St. John’s Cruz Bay is relatively sedate. The “Love City” keeps its own counsel most of the year, with peace-seeking tourists and donkeys sharing space with residents.

The yearly St. John Celebration pays homage to not only the Emancipation Day of July 3, 1848, but also America’s own Independence Day on July 4. The United States was still treating people of African descent as chattel when the (then) Danish West Indies saw fit to see to the liberation and education of its own African population. Granted, much pressure was brought to bear against the local government to this end; read more about the history of the Emancipation at

The St. John Festival and Cultural Organization does not keep an official web site, but good sources of info and updates include, the V.I. Daily News at …or the St. John Source at also features comprehensive coverage from event to event, with photos and interviews.