All US holidays are also territorial holidays in the US Virgin Islands (USVI), including US Independence Day on 4 July. But 3 July is also a holiday in USVI, called Emancipation Day. The two holidays are blended together and united by the overall theme of freedom in the minds of USVI residents.
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On 3 July, 1848, slavery was finally abolished on the Danish West Indies, which today are called the US Virgin Islands. A conch shell is blown every year in Saint John’s to announce anew the end of bondage, and there are dances, speeches, and a host of other commemorative activities as well.
On 4 July, the celebration of freedom continues. A large Independence Day parade ensues by Cruz Bay, and then fireworks light up the sky. Barbecues, swimming at the beaches, and general fun and excitement continue all day long.