From now until the beginning of March, Aruba is in full celebration of its 57th annual Carnival. As opposed to the customary month-long festivities, Carnival this year is spanning from January into March and features a series of colorful and fun events for all.
Music and flamboyant costumes play a central role in events ranging from the Queen elections to the Grand Parades which wind their way down the streets of San Nicolas and Oranjestad to the delight of thousands of spectators. The Grand Parade in Oranjestad will take place on March 6, 2011.
“Carnival is one of Aruba’s most important festivities and each year we look forward to another island-wide celebration,” said Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, CEO of the Aruba Tourism Authority. “This year we are doubling the fun with two whole months of festivities, events and Carnival surprises.”
The main attractions include the Carnival Queen Election Day, which will take place on February 19, where Aruba elects one of its most important Carnival representatives, the Aruba Carnival Queen. Aruba’s Lighting Parade will take place on February 26 in downtown Oranjestad and incorporates thousands of tiny lights into costumes, road pieces and floats, creating a dramatic effect to accompany the extravagant display. Set your alarm clocks at 4:00 a.m. on March 5th for Aruba’s annual “pajama party” Jouvert Morning in San Nicolas. An early morning open invitation to the island’s largest “jump up” is preceded by carnival enthusiasts from all throughout the island who follow the various live music caravans down the city streets until sunrise.
Carnival’s biggest celebration is the 57th Grand Carnival Parade, an all-day event, which winds it way down city avenues to the delight of thousands of spectators. The Grand Parade takes place on March 6, and is filled with music and festive floats and costumes, in imaginative designs and decorated with a wide variety of colorful stones and feathers, creating a unique display. The parade starts at 12:00 noon in Oranjestad and continues into the evening hours.
Some of the available Carnival package offers include:
• To celebrate 2011, or “Year of the Rabbit,” the AAA Four-Diamond Award-winning Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa is pulling a legendary 50 percent off sale out of its hat. Rates begin at $291 per room, per night for travel from now – April 24, 2011. The 50 percent off sale also includes $25 credit to the resort’s oceanfront Larimar Spa, $150 beverage credit on stays of five or six nights (cumulative), $200 beverage credit on stays of seven nights or more (cumulative) and “Kids Eat Free” in Laguna, offering indoor and al fresco dining. www.radisson.com/palm-beach-hotel-aw/aruaruba
• The Mill Resorts & Suites offers an attractive Carnival Package for guests to enjoy the Calypso and Roadmarch of Aruba. The package starts at $599 and includes a minimum of 3 nights stay (additional nights are available), daily breakfast for two and two Carnival Cocktails. The package is available from February 1- March 9, 2011. www.millresort.com
• Travelers visiting the all-inclusive Occidental Grand Aruba, located on Aruba’s Palm Beach, can enjoy savings of up to 29 percent when booking this season’s travel special. Vacations at Occidental Grand Aruba include unlimited meals and snacks, drinks, all resort activities, nightly entertainment, and all taxes and gratuities. Rates start at $241 and are per person, per night (based on double occupancy). The offer is available now through April 23, 2011. www.occidentalhotels.com/occidental/Specials_main_ebb.asp
Aruba Tourism Authority, 800-TO-ARUBA, www.ARUBA.com