The biggest event on St. John is the annual July 4 Carnival, but the island throws some other parties, too.
Runners brave St. John’s hills in the annual 8 Tuff Miles (www.8tuffmiles.com) road race. The route from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay, along Centerline Road, climbs 1,400 feet in less than six miles. This race takes place in late February.
A few weeks later, the island holds a St. Patrick’s Day parade through Cruz Bay: “8 tuff minutes for the rest of us.”
For four days in late March, St. John sings the blues. The St. John Blues Festival (www.stjohnbluesfestival.com) is held in bars in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay; it finishes with an all-day blues concert on the field at Coral Bay.
Carnival on St. John starts in mid-June and lasts through July 4, when a small but energetic parade winds through Cruz Bay. The Carnival Village is erected in the parking lot next to the Customs and Immigration building on the waterfront. There is lots of live music, a food fair, and much more.
Athletes swim 0.5 mile, bike 14 miles, and run 4 miles in the Love City Triathlon (340/779-4214). Love City is St. John’s nickname, redolent of the hippie-style love many residents embrace. The triathlon, which takes place every September, usually attracts athletes from the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, plus Puerto Rico.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition