Lights are ON for Carnival!

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The streets of Oranjestad are going to be filled with lights on Saturday January 4th, 2020. The official opening of the carnival season takes off with the Torch Parade. Ten carnival groups participate, each with their own theme in outfit. The Torch Parade is an easy going parade where the costumes are mostly decorated T-shirts in certain colors. But…. This is just a warming up for the most colorful, creative, inspiring parades that are to come. The route of this parade is in Oranjestad: Starts at 8PM at Aruba Entertainment Center in Dakota – Vondellaan – L.G. Smith Boulevard – ex-DOW building – Wendy’s.

The 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. If you have never been here before, come in carnival season as your experience 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.

In the 1920’s the first carnival events were organized by social clubs that started private costume and masquerade parties. This year we celebrate Aruba’s 66th carnival, which means that the first grand parade took place in 1955. Since than Aruba’s carnival has grown big and is now able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the most renowned Carnival celebrations around the world. Aruba Today has put the coming carnival events for you in a row:

Jan 4 8:00 PM – 2:00 AM Torch Parade Oranjestad

Jan 10 7:00 PM – 2:00 AM Prins & Pancho Elections San Nicolas

Jan 11 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM Children & Youth Calypso & Roadmarch San Nicolas

Jan 12 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Paradera Queen Elections Paradera

Jan 13 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM EPI Queen Elections Paradera

Jan 17 7:00 PM – 1:00 AM Children & Youth Queen Elections San Nicolas

Jan 18 8:00 PM – 2:00 AM Aruba’s 66 Carnival Queen & Mrs. Carnival Elections San Nicolas

Jan 19 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM Parada di Blaas San Nicolas

Jan 24 7:00 PM – 12:00 AM Tumberito Festival San Nicolas

Jan 27 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM Pre- Final Caiso & Soca Monarch San Nicolas

Jan 28 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM Pre- Final Caiso & Soca Monarch San Nicolas

Jan 29 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM Pre- Final Caiso & Soca Monarch San Nicolas

Jan 31 8:00 PM – 3:00 AM Finals Caiso Monarch San Nicolas

Feb 1 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM Reina di Scol Paradera

Feb 1 8:00 PM – 3:00 AM Super Saturday Soca Finals San Nicolas

Feb 5 8:00 PM – 12:00 AM La Ora Loca Jump Up Santa Cruz

Feb 7 8:00 PM – 2:00 AM Grand Tumba Contest San Nicolas

Feb 8 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM Children’s Parade Noord Noord

Feb 8 8:00 PM – 2:00 AM Unity Flag Fest San Nicolas

Feb 9 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Transfer of Command Oranjestad

Feb 9 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM Grand Children’s Parade San Nicolas San Nicolas

Feb 12 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM Sunset Parade Noord

Feb 14 8:00 PM – 2:00 AM Welcome to Jouvert San Nicolas

Feb 15 4:00 AM – 10:00 AM Jouvert Morning San Nicolas

Feb 15 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM Lighting Parade Oranjestad

Feb 16 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM Grand Children’s Parade Oranjestad

Feb 16 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Burning of Momito APA

Feb 19 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Jump Up Escolar Dakota

Feb 19 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM Jump Up Dakota Dakota

Feb 20 8:00 PM – 2:00 AM Parada di Luz San Nicolas

Feb 21 8:00 PM – 1:00 AM Hebbe Hebbe TBA

Feb 21 9:30 PM – 2:30 AM Kiwanis Masquerade Ball Renaissance C.C

Feb 22 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM San Nicolas Grand Parade San Nicolas

Feb 23 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM Aruba’s 66th Grand Parade Oranjestad

Feb 24 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM Burn Out Monday (Carnival Monday) Baby Beach

Feb 25 7:00 PM – 12:00 AM Old Mask Parade & Burning of Momo San Nicolas

For more information you can visit Facebook page SMAC, the official carnival organization.