Along with chart-topping acts like Tyler the Creator, Burna Boy, Dangerous Bunny, and Jazmine Sullivan, attendees on the Made in America Pageant in Philadelphia final month have been handled to a style of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).
Made in Paradise
The USVI tourism division partnered with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, which powers the annual music pageant, to deliver Caribbean tradition to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (the place the pageant came about) throughout Labor Day weekend. The USVI showcased the islands’ energetic spirit by means of Mocko Jumbies stilt dancers and soca music whereas permitting attendees to swing over a photograph of turquoise waters. The convivial activation served to offer festival-goers a small preview of what to anticipate through the upcoming St. Croix Crucian Pageant, happening from December 30 to January 7. Plus, the USVI introduced that one fortunate festival-goer would win a free journey to the islands.
“The environment is lots totally different from Philly. We have now seashores at each nook,” Ian Turnbull, the Division of Festivals Director on the U.S. Virgin Islands Division of Tourism, instructed BLACK ENTERPRISE on the pageant. “You’re at Made in America, however you may have a Caribbean paradise expertise at this pageant.”
This marked the second consecutive 12 months that the USVI hosted an activation at one of many nation’s largest Labor Day weekend occasions. The trouble was a part of the USVI Division of Tourism’s mission to drive visitation to the islands of St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas. Turnbull says the islands noticed an uptick in vacationers from Philadelphia following Made In America final 12 months, making the choice to return to the Metropolis of Brotherly Love simple. “We noticed the numbers, and that’s why we’re right here once more.”
Joseph Boschulte, the Commissioner of Tourism on the U.S. Virgin Islands Division of Tourism, known as the USVI activation at Made In America a “resounding success.”
“Anecdotally, seeing the reception of the individuals was wonderful,” he instructed BE. “Not solely have been they dancing with the Mockos and the entertainers, however they really [took] snapshots of our QR code,” he mentioned, including that he felt “a way of pleasure” seeing USVI swag gear all through the pageant.
As a part of the #MadeinParadise partnership with Roc Nation, the U.S. Virgin Islands hosted a contest to offer one fortunate native artist the chance to carry out at Made in America. 5’2, a rapper, was chosen by Roc Nation from a pool of different contestants that included Mic Love, Scarzeo, and Th3rd.
“I at all times wished to return [to Philadelphia] as a child, however I’m from the islands, so it’s not essentially accessible,” 5’2 instructed BE after her efficiency. “It’s so small. It’s 32-square miles, particularly St. Thomas the place I’m from. And I believe that chance is so scarce down there. So, once I received this chance, I used to be tremendous excited to return and present out and present them the expertise that the Virgin Islands holds.”
Turnball mentioned the USVI was extremely proud to have the petite rapper signify their nation and tradition at Made in America. “She’s polished. She has some nice music. She’s in proper consistent with the Megan Thee Stallions and the Cardi B’s of the world,” he instructed BE. “The entire Virgin Islands is happy about this second as a result of it’s not daily you get to go on an enormous stage [as an] up-and-coming artist.”
Guide a Journey to Paradise
In line with Boschulte, now’s the very best time to e book a trip to the USVI. For one, he says, Individuals don’t have to fret in regards to the burden of touring internationally or the potential of getting caught abroad attributable to COVID.
“We’re a U.S. territory, so that you don’t want a passport,” he mentioned. “We count on totally different iterations [of COVID] to return round. So being a U.S. territory, you already know one factor for certain, in the event you come to the Virgin Islands, you already know you will get dwelling. It’s not going to be a state of affairs the place it’s locked down and you’ll’t make it again.”
Plus, touring to the islands is handy, since many companies supplied in the USA are supplied there as properly.
“I believe it’s essential so that you can journey someplace the place you’re feeling comfy shifting round, the place you’re feeling comfy [using your] ATM card, [and] your mobile phone’s going to work,” he mentioned. “Popping out of a pandemic, you need to just remember to can join with your loved ones. You need to guarantee that your cash is there in the event you want it. You need to guarantee that your well being care…is sweet.”
He went on to emphasize the sweetness and heat of the islands to entice vacationers. “The seashores are stunning. Our persons are real,” he mentioned. “They’re genuinely glad to have you ever expertise what we now have to supply within the territory.”
He continued, “The USVI is a secure vacation spot with many choices on land and on the water. We welcome you down.”
“Simply go to www.visitusvi.com,” he mentioned.