Planning to travel to Aruba to attend the biggest event and celebration of the year – Aruba’s famous Carnival! This year Aruba celebrates 60 years of Carnival!
Listed are some must-see events.
Saturday February 22nd, 8 pm – 2 am. The Lighting Parade in Oranjestad is a twinkling nighttime extravaganza. Tiny lights sewn into costumes create a magical effect as marchers make their way along the Aruba carnival parade route. Best place to watch is in front of Café Chaos on the LG Smith Boulevard, as you’ll have the convenience of a bar and restrooms close-by and can enjoy the great ambiance there. Other suggestions are Vondellaan or the Talk of the Town area of LG Smith Blvd. Note: Oranjestad basically closes down for the parade, so make sure to go downtown early to find parking space, or (better) take a taxi.
Not in the mood for the late night extravaganza and crowds? Then you might like the daytime Children’s Parade in Noord featuring groups of adorable miniature marchers in creative and colorful costumes. These are professional productions organized and overseen by parents. Starts Saturday February 22nd at 12 noon. This parade takes place on the main road through Noord, only a 5 minutes drive from Boardwalk. Best place to watch the parade is in front of the Santa Anna Church in Noord (near the traffic lights/crossing of Caribbean Palm Village).
Saturday March 1st, 11 am – 6 pm. The Grand Carnival Parade in Aruba's second capital San Nicolas is truly a joy to watch and experience. Bring an ice jug and folded chairs (available at the Front Desk) and make it a day filled with live entertainment as thousands of colorfully dressed marchers pass you by. Those who really want to dive into the local Carnival scene can join Jouvert Morning, a combination pajama party and jump-up, beginning at Saturday morning March 1st at 3 AM and lasting until dawn.
Sunday March 2nd, 10 am – 8 pm. The Grand Carnival Parade in Oranjestad takes place on the following day, making for an exhausting but exhilarating weekend. This is the largest and longest of all the Aruba Carnival parades with the most spectators and participants. See ‘Lighting Parade’ for route and tips where to watch. Get there early as the city will be jam packed and roads are closed off.