A few weeks ago, the foundation in charge of Aruba’s Carnival, SMAC began its meetings to organize Aruba’s 69th Carnival. This week they announced that all stakeholders are organizing for the torch parade which will take place on the 7th of January.
Our island is known for its white-sanded beaches and perfect climate, but there is one time in the year that Aruba draws thousands of visitors: carnival. The visitor’s experience during carnival season will be amazing. Sensational musical events, queen elections and different parades are all part of this spectacular phenomenon.
Carnival is part of Aruba’s history and cultural heritage; actually it is the largest cultural festival on the island. For the islanders it is a way to express their creativity and break away from the daily buzz of life: Dancing to the rhythm of local music while enjoying the ambiance of the public are some of the ingredients of this festival.
Oranjestad and San Nicolas are the stages for this display of unique designed costumes, amazing ambience and upbeat, local music. The festival is for everybody accessible and safe to visit. Behind the screens there is an enormous organization that makes sure that this festival runs smoothly. The police, inspection department, Red Cross volunteers, garbage service and many others work day and night to make sure that carnival is a success. All the trailers are being carefully inspected before they are allowed to participate as well as the vehicles that pull them. After each parade the streets are being cleaned and road blocks are being taken away so next day normal traffic flow occurs. The several organizations and institutions work together with the official carnival organization SMAC.
This year’s calendar indicates the following:
January 8: Prins and Pancho election;
January 13: Children and Youth Queen election;
January 14: Carnival Queen and Mrs. Carnival election;
January 22: LGBTQ elections Brunch with a steelpan and drums showdown;
January 27: Caiso Monarch final;
January 28: Soca final;
January 29: Balloons parade;
February 3: Hebbe Hebbe;
February 4: Children’s Parade in North; Grand Tumba Contest;
February 5: Transfer and Command; Big Children Parade in Oranjestad;
February 8: Sunset Parade;
February 10: Jouve City;
February 11: Jouvert Mortning and Lighting Parade;
February 12: Big Children Parade in San Nicolas; Burning of the Momito;
February 16: Lighting Parade;
February 17: Carnival is Life (Jump In);
February 18: Big Parade in San Nicolas;
February 19: Big Parade in Oranjestad and Burning of Momo.
The official sequence for the groups during the torch parade will be as follows:
Empire Carnival Group
TOB Carnival Group
Infinity Carnival Group
Royal Carnival Group
Los Laga Bai Carnival Group
Champagne Carnival Group.