Carnival in St Kitts is celebrated from about the middle of December to early January and features street jamming, carnival shows, parades of troupes, bands and folklore. A major highlight of St Kitts carnival is 'J'ouvert Morning', where revelers party and dance in the streets to the pulsating sounds of the steel bands, brass bands and hi-fi sets. The jamming starts from dawn on December 26 until the last band stops playing. Since carnival in St Kitts takes place during the Christmas season, there is a double reason to celebrate. This time of the year is by far the most festive time on the island.
The St Kitts Music Festival was launched in 1996, and since then the annual St. Kitts Music Festival has usually been held over the last weekend in June. Unlike other festivals held in the Caribbean, the St. Kitts Music Festival is a creative blend of musical genres. This feature of the St. Kitts Music Festival has contributed to it becoming one of the Caribbean's most popular music festivals. In the past, the festival has featured an interesting lineup of international, regional and local artistes including Arturo Tappin, Tabou Combo, Inner Circle, Maxine Nightingale, Latin Legends, Freddie Jackson, Cece Winans, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Krosfyah out of Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago's Roy Cape Band featuring Nigel Lewis, Kenny Rogers, Brian Mc Knight, Jagged Edge, Bunji Garlin, Destra Garcia, Square One out of Barbados, Earl Klugh, Kool & The Gang, Burning Flames, Hugh Masekela, Chaka Khan, Peabo Bryson, Culture, Shirley Ceasar, David Rudder, Mighty Sparrow, Arrow out of Montserrat, Bobby Caldwell, Ashanti, Beres Hammond, DMX, Nestor Torres, Burning Spear, Maxi Priest, Sean Paul and Vegas, Chante Moore, K-CI and Jojo, Yolanda Adams, Glen Washington and Deanna Wattley. The venue for the festival is the historic Fort Thomas Hotel.