The U.S. Virgin Islands Division of Festivals Celebrates 2024 St. Thomas Carnival Honorees

St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (March 21, 2024)— The U.S. Virgin Islands Division of Festivals, in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, proudly announces the 2024 St. Thomas Carnival Honorees.

 

"As we continue to grow our territory’s carnival celebrations, it always brings us great pride to recognize and honor members of the community who embody the essence, culture, and pride that is deeply ingrained in the event’s history," said the Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte. “Please join me in celebrating our local champions of culture.”

 

  • Adults Parade: William ‘Champagne’ Chandler

Very few names and individuals in the world of mas, pageantry, and revelry can evoke images of splendor and candor smothered in a thick coating of sophistication. Virgin Islands native William ‘Champagne’ Chandler has reveled as a “King of Carnival,” representing the territory in regional and international competitions. The former president of the Roses and Champagne modeling group and Carnival Queen Selection Sub-Committee Queen chair, Champagne has nurtured and paved the way for many emerging in pageantry throughout the territory. A national treasure whose love for carnival culture is forever etched in history, Champagne’s likeness was featured on the winning 1994 IFEA Gold Pinnacle Award poster that was commemorated as a postal stamp in 2002 for the 50th Anniversary of the Virgin Islands Carnival.

 

  • Children's Parade: Ivanna Eudora Kean Music Program

A community staple since 1993, the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Music Department has been helping to mentor local youth musicians in classical and traditional Caribbean music, often participating in Carnival parades and events. Under the helm of directors Anthony Nibbs and Shamoi Rodgers, and Department Chair Monet I. Davis, the IEKHS program continues to rebuild and grow rising musical stars.

 

  • Food Fair Honoree: Mary ‘Ms. Sally’ George

A dedicated educator for over 30 years, Ms. Sally George founded Karibbean Kids in 2002, a culturally centered retail company specializing in cloth dolls incorporating traditional garb and folklore. Throughout the years, Ms. Sally and Karibbean Kids have been a staple at Virgin Islands fairs and festivals and consistently rated atop the Economic Development Agency’s Made in the USVI lists, having expanded over the years to include more handmade products reflecting the persevering and creative spirit of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

  • Carnival Village: Malvern V. Gumbs

A lifelong resident of St. Thomas, Malvern Gumbs’ musical journey began in the church at age six. Years later, Malvern’s long-built love has translated into a professional career with the Virgin Islands Department of Education, where he has taught music for over 25 years, mentoring future musical aficionados. From his first participation at the age of 17, Malvern has actively been engaged in the territory’s Carnival musical scene, having been a member of bands, mentored Junior Calypsonians, and supported pageantry contestants. An award-winning musician, Malvern has played with some of the Caribbean region’s top artists and founded Spectrum Band, where he serves as the lead vocalist and arranger.

 

The 72nd annual St. Thomas Carnival kicks off April 13, 2024, with the Princess Show and continues until May 4, 2024, with the adult parade and Village Night finale headlined by International superstar Shaggy.

 

"This class of honorees continues our longstanding tradition of honoring pillars of our culture," adds Ian Turnbull, Director of Festivals. “It brings us great pride to celebrate our community and the people who continue to make it great.”

 

For a full calendar of events for St. Thomas Carnival, please visit https://www.visitusvi.com/st-thomas-carnival.

 

For more information about the U.S. Virgin Islands and its offerings, please visit https://www.visitusvi.com/.

 

About the U.S. Virgin Islands  

About 40 miles east of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands comprise a United States territory located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea. The three islands are St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas, where the capital of Charlotte Amalie is located. Perfect for leisure or business travel, the U.S. Virgin Islands features breathtaking, world-renowned beaches, an international marine industry, European architecture, and a burgeoning restaurant industry. No passports are required from U.S. citizens traveling from the U.S. mainland or Puerto Rico. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are equivalent to entering the United States from any international country. Upon departure, a passport is required for non-U.S. citizens. For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to www.VisitUSVI.com, follow us on Instagram (@visitusvi) and Twitter (@usvitourism), and become a fan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI).