The island’s largest festival, termed “Crucian Christmas Carnival,” is celebrated on St. Croix throughout late December and early January. Another significant festival is the Agricultural and Food Fair held in mid-February.
Several times a year, there is a nighttime festival in Christiansted called “Jump-Up” and a monthly event called “Sunset Jazz” in Frederiksted, where local jazz musicians play on Frederiksted Beach. Every year on the Saturday before Mardi Gras, there is a local Mardi Croix parade and a dog parade through the North Shore.
The St. Croix Half Ironman Triathlon is held in the first week of May. The Triathlon includes a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run. Because the bicycle route includes a ride up an extremely steep hill known as “The Beast”, this triathlon is often nicknamed “Beauty and the Beast”.
Frederiksted maintains its Victorian era architecture and original seven street by seven street city design and is host to several historic structures. Among them are St. Patrick’s Catholic Church built in the 1840s and its primary school, the Customs House, the 19th Century Apothecary, and many other buildings; some of which due to hurricanes past have fallen into very scenic ruins. Frederiksted operates at a more relaxed pace than most of the island, and is more lively during Carnival in January and whenever visiting cruise ships are in port.
Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve contains the only known site where members of a Columbus expedition set foot on what is now United States territory. It also preserves upland watersheds, mangrove forests, and estuarine and marine environments that support threatened and endangered species. The site is marked by Fort Salé, a remaining earthworks fortification from the French period of occupation, about 1617. The park also preserves prehistoric and colonial-era archeological sites including the only existent example of a ball court in the Caribbean. This is one of two sites on the island for bioluminescent bays (the other being Altona Lagoon).
Fort Christiansværn built in 1749 and other buildings are maintained by the National Park Service as the Christiansted National Historic Site.
Buck Island Reef National Monument preserves a 176 acres (71 ha) island just north of St. Croix and the surrounding reefs. This is a popular destination for snorkelers. Buck Island maintains a U.S. Coast Guard weather station and is also home to a student monitored lemon shark breeding ground. Green Cay (pronounced green key) is a small island located southwest of Buck Island; it is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It hosts a nearby reef popular among scuba divers and snorkelists—Tamarind Reef.