After two years, the people of Aruba enjoyed last Saturday a Torch Parade full of excitement and carnival music. Six groups and more than five thousand people were on the streets enjoying the start of the 69th edition of Carnival.
2020 was the last year in which Aruba celebrated a carnival season before the pandemic of Covid-19 arrived in Aruba around March and changed life completely. Many were anxiously waiting this big night to jump, dance and enjoy a season which is a big part of Aruba’s culture.
Minister of Culture, Xiomara Maduro together with the organization in charge of organizing Carnival, SMAC, lit the torch and at 7:58 the Torch Parade began its route to officially open the 69th edition of Aruba’s Carnival.
“Aruba opens its 69th Carnival with the Torch Parade. Success to SMAC, all groups and participants. Enjoy safely”, Maduro said on her official Facebook account.
During the parade, our reporter spoke to some of the participants and spectators by the side of the road to find out the sentiments and how they are enjoying inside and outside the parade.
“Finally we can celebrate. After two years, carnival is back and we are ready to enjoy – obviously without going overboard. Everyone, go slowly”, John Tromp, a participant in the Torch Parade, who was enjoying the fun of the night, commented.
Enthusiasm was high since it was the first parade for the new season of carnival, and this could be felt in some participants who went all-out and decorated their t-shirts with stones, payet and lights, and even created headpieces with feathers to go with their outfits.
“I love carnival. I am very happy that we can enjoy carnival again. I have been participating for many years, I think it’s been over ten years. I am going all-out tonight. My make-up, my outfit, my headpiece. I am ready to enjoy and I am ready for the other parades as well”, Joanne Ras indicated.
Spectators by the side of the road were also enjoying the atmosphere and the music of carnival. Jose Hernandez and his family were by the side of the road enjoying the parade as is their custom. “My family and I enjoy carnival. We like going to the parades and having a good time. We stand by the side to see all the beautiful clothes. Today, the torch parade was really good. A very good atmosphere. We are ready to continue enjoying the rest of the parades”, he said.
Cornelia Werleman was also enjoying the atmosphere of the Torch Parade – known as Fakkel – by the side of the road this year. “Normally I go in the parade, but this year I changed my mind and decided to stand by the side and enjoy. I am going in the big parades, but I skipped Fakkel this year. The atmosphere was very good though”, she indicated.
Be it in the parade or by the side of the road, there is no doubt that the multitude of people who came out to open the carnival season enjoyed the Torch Parade and are ready to continue celebrating Carnival 69.