St. Croix – Big Love, Little Pride, Hearts Filled

When it comes to celebrating pride, it’s about the people and the emotions. Sure, we want to see the biggest and the best, but we also want to see the happiest and the most proud people, too. I’ve been to massive pride celebrations and smaller joyous events and they’re all usually quite enjoyable in their own way. Most recently I went to St. Croix, one of the US Virgin Islands, for its pride and what a blast it was.

The Parade Was a SmileFest – 

The pride parade started at about 11:20 am and I think it might have been done by 11:35 am with about ten different groups participating. I found myself smiling through the whole parade as everyone was just full of energy happy to be there. I don’t recall any church groups or politicians participating this year and I was happy about that, too as often those just wash out a parade and make you think of the hate-filled politicians and the disrespectful churches that do exist out there. So not seeing those groups in the pride parade, that kept me smiling. Re-watching all my video clips of the parade, it was all about love, love is love, love wins, and having a great time.


No, this was not as big as the first St. Croix Pride parade in 2018, but as well, the protestors were not as plentiful either this year. The current Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Albert Bryan, Jr. marched in the 2018 parade when he was a candidate for the governorship. When interviewed at the 2018 parade, he addressed the numerous protesters, the death threats. Bryan said:

“People in the Caribbean, which has many residents of African descent, should sympathize with the fight for LGBT rights. We have to remember that a mere 67 years ago we were the ones who people wanted to castrate. We were the ones who were hosed when we were marching — we were the ones who they didn’t want in their schools. So we have to realize that in this world people have a right to be who they are, and every day we need to celebrate the beauty of one’s self.”

In order to keep protestors and paraders separate, police were present and a parade route was well defined, not going through residential areas and not on major roads, but just along Strand Street, the main road in Frederiksted, St. Croix, ending in a cute parking lot by the sea where booths and music kept the attention of the attendees. I thanked the police for being there as they walked the route or road some fancy little police scooters back and forth.


One of the organizers of the first pride parade in 2018 was Imani Evans. She was 17 at the time, but is now a Pride board member. She remembers death threats that first year, and recalls that much of the catalyst for starting pride back then were recent deaths of known gay citizens. Now, maybe there’s about 100 out and proud people on the island, but everyone knows of “those two roommates”, or some people that are on the DL. The population is there, and with that, acceptance and numbers are growing. 

Is the St. Croix Pride Parade THE highlight of a weekend in St. Croix? I would say it is one of the reasons to hop on down to the most accepting Virgin Island and enjoy seeing love and acceptance on display, albeit just for a quick 6 minutes followed by a nice time chatting with the locals at the following Pride Health and Wellness Fair. You may get to meet Jennifer Koockogey-Lajoie, proud bisexual and the lead flag bearer in this year’s parade. Her husband Kyle, a big ol’ husbear, was not far behind her driving one of the floats/trucks. They are both active in ST. Croix Pride Inc., the group that puts on the pride events on the island and Jenn happens to be the Vice President.

Where to Stay –

If you’re going to seek out the most accepting place on the island, book your stay at Sand Castle on the Beach.

Sand Castle on the Beach from the water

This cute gay owned resort-ish hotel is a little sapphire on the ocean side. With its well-known and respected restaurant (one of the few right on the sandy shoreline) and it being on the semi unofficial gay beach on the island (maybe their presence made it gay), two pools (one clothing optional) and wonderful sunsets, what more can I say. Chris and Ted were popping in and out of the hotel as very hands on owners and their staff, all of them were great to communicate with and all made our stay so welcome and easy. I could stay in the pool for hours, sit at the bar for days, and lay on the beach and enjoy some of the best ocean water I’ve enjoyed for years until it was time to catch my plane.

What to See –

The island is not massive, but I would recommend a car or a service to get you around while there. It’s 22 miles from east to west and about 7 miles from north to south. Where should you point that car?

Eastern Most Point – Being from Maine, living in Florida, having done all the states except three down the middle, I love geography, so when I learned that the Eastern Most Point of the United States was on St. Croix, that had to be checked off. It also gave us a chance to see more of the island as the Sand Castle on the Beach Hotel is in Frederiksted, which is on the eastern side of the island. Having Warren Brooks from Native Son drive us around the island (on the other/wrong side of the road from the mainland US) was a treat. He was very informative of the old and new history and with that, we were able to get a better feel as to why certain parts of the island were inhabited, learned about the businesses, developments, and just an overall better grasp of St Croix.

The easternmost point in the US. There, they built this large sun dial.

Not Quoddy Head Maine, but Point Udall, St Croix is the eastern most point in all of the United States. Quoddy Head (actually West Quoddy Head) is the most eastern point on the continent. Point Udall, Guam, is the western most point, the Udall points were named after brothers.

Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts – Along the main road in Frederiksted, Strand Street has some wonderful buildings present. One of them is the home of the nonprofit CMC Arts. It was great to see the top floor of the museum dedicated to Pride. Before we arrived, I did see this very cute guy walking along the street. After seeing the art pieces present upstairs, one installation showed some wonderful body parts of the model, I went outside to run into this cute man again as I put two and two together.  He was the artist Jose Chacon and had modeled for the revealing piece. His Day of the Dead Drag Queens edition was larger than pictured below. He stated he would build it back up to size. If you cannot get to St Croix, you can catch up with Jose @shopchacon on Instagram.

Buck Island – Hop on board a half day or full day of snorkeling and sight seeing out to Buck Island. Find your catamaran in the biggest city on the island, Christiansted. There’s a bunch of different ones you can go on. Someone booked us on a Caribbean Sea Adventures. The female captain and her two adorable ship mates were fun, hello Guillermo. A waiver was signed, meaning one should pay attention to expectations and be responsible. I’ve been in charge of big groups and responsible their safety before and it can be daunting, especially if people don’t listen. Respecting their boat, rules, and best practices is always key. And if you do that, you may get seconds or thirds when they serve hearty portions of their rum punch.

Bring sun block, a towel, a hat, an underwater phone bag, and if you wish, your own snorkel and mask. Also, bring some sharp eyes to see the aquatic life. Plenty of fish in the reefs and some sharks in the shallows were seen. I would as well do this activity again, but have a better camera for underwater.


Where to Eat –

Make a reservation wherever you go, just in case. We did and every place was packed when we arrived. Ask for shade if you can as well for that sun can be brutal.

Six Nine Restaurant and Bar – They state they are Gluten Free and that did not limit the menu at all. Outdoor seating under a roof and canopies made for a nice night as we saw the sun go down and the shadows play on the buildings of downtown Frederiksted


the Fred – This place is one of the more well-kept hotels on the island, but they also have a large pool and outdoor dining area.  We did lunch here after the Pride Parade. It was a hot day so make sure you know where the sun is and where it will go during your meal. Bar seating was great, too.

CiBoNe – Great cocktails and elevated food could be found here.  Enjoy the people, the servers, and the variety of offerings at this hot spot.

Nate’s Boathouse at the Boardwalk – We had a quick bite after our snorkeling at this local bar/restaurant. Simple food, simple atmosphere, and tasty bevvies make this Christiansted offering a good bet.

Return Visit – There will be a return visit to St. Croix. Not only was it paradise, but it was an easy paradise to navigate. The money is the same as the mainland US, my Mint Mobile worked fine with no issues, Internet was great, food was very enjoyable, and the locals were full of wonderful advice and smile and a true pride in their island and all of that made me feel very safe. And I think, when you travel, you do need to ask the locals, listen to the locals, listen to the boat captains, tour guides. They will know more than you and will also supply you with some great advice and even maybe some secrets.

Best of luck for Pride 2025 as the celebration alternates every year between Frederiksted and Christiansted. We will also look into if there is a celebration for New Year’s Eve and first light of the new year at Point Udall. We’ve already bookmarked for future research.

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