The One happy island of Aruba is buzzing with excitement as it gears up for the 58th Annual Carnival Celebration. Beginning January 7 and continuing through February, Aruba’s Carnival includes colorful street festivals, competitions and festive parades representing the island’s biggest party each year.
From the beat of steel drums and calypso tunes to the sound of brass bands and road marches, the streets of Aruba are filled with music throughout the Carnival celebration. Thousands of carnivalistas adorned in spectacular feathered costumes and headpieces create a dazzling display for spectators of all ages and backgrounds.
Highlights of Aruba’s annual Carnival celebration include the Carnival Queen Election Day on February 3, where Aruba will select one of its most important Carnival representatives. Aruba’s Lighting Parade, which takes place on February 11, is a twinkling nighttime event in which thousands of tiny lights are incorporated into costumes, road pieces and floats, creating a dramatic contrast against the backdrop of the night sky. Set your alarm clocks for 4:00 a.m. on February 18 for Aruba’s annual “pajama party,” Jouvert Morning in San Nicolas. An early morning open invitation to the island’s largest “jump up” is attended by carnival enthusiasts from all throughout the island who follow the various live music caravans down the city streets until sunrise. Following Jouvert Morning, celebrants continue the party at San Nicolas’ Grand Carnival Parade, which begins at 1pm in San Nicolas.
The culmination of the Carnival celebration, the Grand Carnival Parade, is an all-day event taking place on February 19 that is filled with music, celebratory floats and stunning costumes while the parade route winds it way down city avenues to the delight of thousands of spectators. The parade starts at 12:00 noon in Oranjestad and continues into the evening hours.
Carnival season concludes on February 21 with the ceremonial midnight Burning of King Momo, a life-size effigy of the spirit of Carnival, on the eve of Ash Wednesday.
For more information on Aruba, please visit online at www.ARUBA.com or call 1-800-TO-ARUBA.