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The town of Oranjestad is a winding, cobblestone-covered collection of mostly 18th century Dutch colonial buildings and scattered small homes. On a sunny Saturday its stony streets have a certain opaque gleam. These streets are mostly empty. If you squint you can see something else – outdoor cafes; a street trumpeter; some tourists taking snapshots of the old walls; the hum of an art gallery.
Many don’t see these things because St. Eustatius is yet to be ‘discovered’. Whilst it’s just a 20-minute flight from St Maarten, with five regular Winair flights each day, this island of around 4,000 people is not yet a major tourism destination. But it has the elements of one: crystal-clear waters perfect for diving; a group of green small mountains ready to be hiked; a beautiful stretch called Oranje Bay at Lower Town; and the town of Oranjestad.
Statia Day, a national holiday on November 16, sees activities take place on the streets of Oranjestad nightly.
It’s a day to reflect on Statia’s role in America’s history, but for most it is a day to celebrate the culture and heritage of Statia.
Artists such as Destra, Alison Hinds, Demarco, Onion and Morgan Heritage have all performed on Statia Day.
The Statia Carnival is held every year in the last two weeks of July. The week is filled with music, dance, food and pageantry.