Celebrating Bastille Day – in St. Thomas 

Celebrating Bastille day - in St. Thomas

Festival of Bastille 

Bastille takes place in St. Thomas in the month of July. The specific date of Bastille day is 4 July but it keeps on going for a week. Bastille day has a French origin and it was brought by French travelers who settled on St. Thomas. But as the tourism industry of USVI has been growing for a very long time in the same way this festival has become a special day for locals as well as people from all over the world. This is why tourists travel to St Thomas Getaway so they can enjoy the Bastille in which people dance, fish and eat. 

This is an amazing experience with lots of enjoyment featuring local artists performing amazing music.14 July is the national holiday in France and this is celebrated as the day of independence. On 14 of July 1789 people of Parise rose against the government of King Louis XVI and these people captured the four of Bastille. So this day is celebrated as the day of freedom in France. And after this France established a new popular government. And in the same way in St. Thomas it has been a very special day for French origin but with time it has become a very special day for all races of the population living on this island.

St. Thomas and Bastille Festivals 

St. Thomas is the home of French people, and a large population from France has transferred to St. Thomas and other virgin islands as refugees. These Caribbean islands have been populated by French origin people since 1920. The reason for this heavy shift is the culture of this island and the Caribbean welcoming vibes. With the culture of France  it has been a very popular party place for tourists looking for an exit and St. Thomas is the paradise for that as a result of this July 14 is considered as the day when France was an independent nation. 

So not only the French population of St. Thomas celebrates it but the whole of St. Thomas becomes a part of their celebrations. And with the flow of tourists in these areas this festival has become a very popular choice in which people catch fish, dance and enjoy Bastille day. It has been considered as the French heritage week in which people from all over the world join this island and this is a great boost for the tourism around USVI. Not only this there are other festivals in which these people celebrate their heritage. These festivals include French heritage week and multiple heritage weeks from people of different backgrounds. 

Attraction of Bastille day 

Bastille day celebration starts on the weekend of 14th July, and this festival includes music and dancing. These dances take place on the north side of the st thomas virgin islands. It is held in famous bars such as Bryan’s Bar and Hull Bay Hideaway or the Frenchtown at the Joseph Aubain Ballpark. This festival is full of local French bands. These bands include  French community related bands like Obsession band and Sea Breeze. Not only that, bands from St. Barthelme have been a part of this festival.

The traditional attraction of this festival is food, music, drinks and dance. This celebration starts in the early evening and lasts until the sun rises in the morning of the next day.  After this, Bastille day kingfish Tournament is the pinnacle of the celebration so it is held on Sunday. And the reason for organizing it on Sunday is the availability of people on this day. 

The kingfish tournament has been sponsored by Northside sports fishing club, this begins at 5 AM at Hull Bay. Fishermen and women cast their lines at 5 AM. This means they went out in the sea to catch fish at 5AM. They have the time by noon so they have to bring their catch. By 11 AM anglers start coming in with their catch. And this is what people are waiting for. 

Background of This Tournament 

The tournament was first organized by French people living on this island in 1987. There are no restrictions on who can join this tournament. Today more than 350 anglers participate in this competition. The winners are based on the size of the fish. The one who catches the largest kingfish gets the first prize, in the same second and third are placed on that basis. Prizes are based on the donations offered by local businessmen.

 There are other prices which are offered to those who catch the largest jack, tuna, bonito and barracuda as well. There are also awards for best boat, female, and male angler. And here the same opportunity is offered to junior anglers. The dance, eating , drinking and celebration begin at noon when people from all over the island hops in for the fest. 

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