You knew in your island soul that social distancing couldn’t stop the Carnival Virgin Islands on St. Thomas. The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism’s Division of Festivals has launched the “Home Wuk” on line social gathering to create a sense of community and give islanders and us a virtual Carnival experience. The carnival season is between April and May and is typically the social event of the year in the Caribbean island territories of the United States.
“We know everyone was looking forward to Carnival, but postponing it was the right thing to do to make sure we help stop the virus from spreading,” said Ian Turnbull, Director of the Division of Festivals. “With the ‘Home Wuk’ series, we can lift people’s spirits and bring the VI Carnival vibe to everyone in the safety of their homes,” he added.
The frists online party was held on the 28th of March and hosted on the tourism division’s Facebook page in collaboration with the carnival troupe Insomniacs J’ouvert. The event lasted for two and a half hours as “The Caribbean’s Hottest DJ” DJ Avalanche served up energetic island music attracting more than 63,000 views and was shared more than 1,500 times.
One viewer stated: “Nice concept, I love the virtual jam!” while another commented: “We jamming from far, social distance.”
The online party was just an excuse to jam but to push out the public health message, “You gotta be careful on the street. Make sure you have your mask, make sure you wash your hands, make sure you stay safe.”
We won’t have to miss the Carnival celebrations completely this year as the Territory plans to reschedule the Carnival, St. John and other cultural events when the crisis has passed.
Home Wuk isn’t over yet either. You just need to check in on The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism’s Division of Festivals Facebook page for the next event or follow them on twitter @usvifestivals.