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Calendar of Events 2012
January 1NEW YEAR'S DAY
Aruba welcomes the New Year with music and an island-wide display of fireworks. After the last flash of fireworks and the pop of the champagne cork, troupes of traveling musicians known as “Dande” brighten the New Year with song, bestowing blessings of goodwill and prosperity. Aruba’s joyous holiday atmosphere pervades varied events, from casual gatherings to grand-scale receptions at island resorts.
January-MarchARUBA 58th CARNIVAL CELEBRATION
Aruba’s biggest party of the year is a month-long celebration consisting of festive “jump-ups” (street parties), spectacular parades and creative contests. 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.
January 7ARUBA’S TORCH PARADE
First organized by the Tivoli Club, Aruba’s oldest social club, the Torch Parade is now the first official parade on the Aruba Carnival Foundation (SAC) schedule. The tradition continues with bright lights leading the way down the streets of the capital of Oranjestad. The parade begins at 8:00 p.m. and sets the pace for the festivities to come.
January 21CHILDREN CALYPSO & ROADMARCH CONTEST
The island’s talented kids from 8 - 15 years of age show their artistic skills as they sing to compete for the honor of King or Queen of Calypso or Roadmarch. The winning song will be featured in the upcoming jump-ups and kids’ parades. Venue: Aruba Entertainment Center at 6:30 p.m.
January 25BETICO CROES DAY
Aruba pays tribute to its greatest statesman on his birthday. The late Gilberto Francois “Betico” Croes helped Aruba obtain its “Status Aparte” (separate status) within the Dutch Kingdom. This official holiday features various sporting events and popular games throughout the island.
January 25BETICO CROES MEMORIAL 10K RUN & 5K WALK
Betico Croes’ hometown of Santa Cruz sponsors an amateur road race through hilly terrain. The circular route takes runners through residential neighborhoods and back to the main intersection of Santa Cruz. Avoiding the hotter hours of the day, the starting pistol sounds at 5:30 p.m. Open registration through IDEFRE Tel. (297)-582-4987 or Fax: (297)-583-6478 E-mail: idefre@aruba.gov.aw for additional information or registration.
January 2718TH MRS. CARNIVAL ELECTION
A light-hearted look at Aruba carnival tradition presented by its most experienced participants, all vying for the satin sash of Mrs. Carnival. Highlights of the election include skits and joyful displays of carnival costumes and dance. Venue: Aruba Entertainment Center at 7:30 p.m.
January 2842th GRAND FINAL TUMBA CONTEST
Originally from Africa with a Caribbean influence, the tumba music played during the Carnival has the rhythm of the “tambu” which is a tambour with a 6/8 beat. This event features local bands and singers competing for the Tumba King or Queen title with their original musical compositions and lyrics. Venue: Aruba Entertainment Center at 7:30 p.m.
January 30-31, February 1PRE-FINAL CALYPSO & ROADMARCH CONTEST
Hundreds of talented locals participate in these pre-finals trying to qualify to become the King or Queen of Aruba’s Calypso and Roadmarch. Venue: JoeLaveist Sport Park at 7:30 p.m.
February 337th CHILDREN & 48th AND YOUTH CARNIVAL QUEEN ELECTION
Carnival excitement builds as the island elects its first queens of the season, the Children and Youth Carnival Queens. Contestants, for the children election are between the ages of 6 and 9 years and for the youth queen election the ladies are between the ages of 13 and 17 years. All demonstrate their carnival spirit through dance performances, speeches and carnival shows. Venue: Aruba Entertainment Center at 7:00 p.m.
February 4GRAND FINAL CALYPSO & ROADMARCH CONTEST
One of the biggest and most popular local music festivals attracting over 10.000 people is the annual Calypso and Road march contest. This festival is your best bet for enjoying original music of the people, by the people and for the people. Original musical compositions and lyrics are presented with the social commentary of Calypso or the catchy beat of Roadmarch, helping to define the carnival season. The most popular songs will be featured in the upcoming jump-ups and parades. Venue: Joe Laveist Ballpark at 7:30 p.m.
February 5CHILDREN’S CARNIVAL PARADE IN SAN NICOLAS
Aruba’s youngest carnival enthusiasts take center stage as the children parade down the streets in San Nicolas dressed in colorful costumes representing various themes. The parade starts at 2:00 p.m. in downtown San Nicolas.
February 1058th CARNIVAL QUEEN ELECTION
Aruba elects one of its most important carnival representatives, the Aruba Carnival Queen. Young women between the ages of 17 and 25 representing districts, schools and social clubs compete for the honor of leading the Grand Parade. The election, marked by lavish production numbers, is judged by a panel of local and international judges. Venue: Aruba Entertainment Center at 7:30 p.m.
February 11CHILDREN’S CARNIVAL PARADE IN NOORD
The district of Noord demonstrates its carnival spirit with the presentation of its own children’s parade. Children representing elementary schools and social clubs participate in vibrant displays of different themes. This event starts at 1:00 p.m.
February 11ARUBA’S TIVOLI LIGHTING PARADE
Aruba’s favorite evening carnival parade is a visual treat. Thousands of tiny lights are incorporated into costumes, road pieces and floats, bringing an added dramatic effect to an already stunning, creative display. Live bands accompany the various participating carnival groups. Held in downtown Oranjestad, the parade begins at 8:00 p.m.
February 12CHILDREN’S GRAND CARNIVAL PARADE IN ORANJESTAD
The largest children’s parade includes all of the islands different Carnival groups to form Aruba’s 32st Grand Children Carnival parade. Hundreds of children enjoy the opportunity to show off their dancing skills and colorful costumes. Held in downtown Oranjestad, the event begins at 1:00 p.m.
February 16LIGHTING PARADE SAN NICOLAS
Although not as extravagant as the Oranjestad version of the parade, the San Nicolas Lighting Parade is no less jubilant in its presentation of dance, music and carnival spirit. The parade starts at 8:00 p.m.
February 18JOUVERT MORNING
An early morning open invitation to the island’s largest “jump up” is heeded by carnival enthusiasts from all throughout the island. Popularly known as the “pajama party,” thousands of people gather in San Nicolas to follow the various live music caravans down the city streets. Set the alarm clock; this exciting jump-up begins at 4 a.m. and continues until sunrise.
February 18GRAND CARNIVAL PARADE IN SAN NICOLAS
This is a prelude to the Grand Carnival Parade. Local musicians create an exceptional ambience in San Nicolas by playing their latest carnival hits while the participants are dressed in their multi-colored costumes. Beautifully decorated themed floats accompanied by their floor members dance and parade through the streets of San Nicolas until sunset. This parade starts at 1:00 p.m. in San Nicolas.
February 19ARUBA’S 58th GRAND CARNIVAL PARADE
The largest carnival parade is the Grand Parade through Oranjestad, held on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. This parade is filled with music and luxurious floats and costumes in various designs and decorated with a wide variety of colorful stones and feathers, creating a unique display. Aruba’s main event starts at 12:00 noon in Oranjestad and continues into the evening hours.
February 20CARNIVAL MONDAY
Official holiday. The traditional horse parade through downtown starts at 4:00 p.m.
February 20OLD MASK PARADE AND BURNING OF KING MOMITO
The end of the carnival season is first marked in San Nicolas with a parade ending in the symbolic burning of “King Momito.” This event takes place from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
February 21OLD MASK PARADE & BURNING OF KING MOMO
Carnival 57 comes to an official end on the eve of Ash Wednesday with the burning of “King Momo.” This is preceded by a parade throughout the streets of Oranjestad. The parade starts at 8:00 p.m.
March 9ASH WEDNESDAY
In 2013 & 2014, the grand parades will take place on Sunday, February 10 and Sunday, March 2 respectively. Contact the Aruba Carnival Foundation (Stichting Arubaanse Carnival or SAC) at Tel. (297) 582-4214 / Fax. (297) 588-2964 or visit www.carnavalaruba.net for additional information.
March 18NATIONAL ANTHEM AND FLAG DAY
A strong sense of pride is displayed each year as Arubans celebrate their “Status Aparte” and the Flag and Anthem Day. An impressive folkloric production marking the holiday is held each year on Plaza Betico Croes in Oranjestad. This official holiday also features many sporting events and games throughout the island for kids and adults.
March 2026th ARUBA INTERNATIONAL HALF MARATHON (21 K)
International competitors participate in Aruba’s longest road race covering the length of the island from San Nicolas to Oranjestad. The race begins at 5:00 a.m. Registration starts on February 1, 2011. Contact IDEFRE Tel. (297) 582-4987 or Fax: (297) 583-6478 E-mail: idefre@aruba.gov.aw for additional information or registration.
April 6GOOD FRIDAY
Official holiday
April 8-9EASTER SUNDAY AND EASTER MONDAY
Official holidays
April 24-May 2811th AHATA RECYCLED ART COMPETITION
This public awareness campaign for adults and kids promotes the collection and re-use of old articles to create recycled art. Last day to submit items is May. Contact Vanessa Rasmussen at Tel. (297) 582-2607 / Fax (297) 582-4202 / E-mail vanessa@ahata.com.
April 3052nd INTERNATIONAL BOULEVARD RACE (10K)
Aruba’s most popular running race draws over 200 competitors from countries including Aruba, Venezuela, Colombia, Netherlands Antilles, USA and Holland. The 10K event starts at 5:30 p.m. on L.G. Smith Blvd. and ends at the Marriott parking lot. Entry forms will be issued in February. Contact IDEFRE at Tel. (297) 582-4987 or Fax. (297) 583-6478 or E-mail arubatriathlon@hotmail.com or idefre@aruba.gov.aw for additional Information
April 30QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY
An official government ceremony paying honor to Queen Beatrix is followed by numerous sporting events and family-friendly celebrations. Sports competitions, kite flying contests and fun-filled activities are held at various sites including community centers.
May 1LABOR DAY
Official holiday
May 17ASCENSION DAY
Official holiday
May 23-28ARUBA SOUL BEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL 2012
Held on Memorial Day holiday weekend, the Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival is a star-studded, two-night concert series that has featured artists including Maze, Sean Paul, Chaka Khan, Wyclef Jean, India Arie, the Gap Band, Boyz 11 Men, Lauryn Hill, Nina Sky, Anthony Hamilton, Alicia Keys, Brian McKnight, Wayne Brady, Estelle, Jamie Fox, Etana, Robin Thicke,Common, Toni Braxton, MJ Blidge, Joe Thomas, Raheem DeVaughn, Jennifer Hudson, Christie Michele and Heads of State Venue: TBA. Contact Aruba Tourism Authority at Tel. (297) 582-3777 / Fax (297) 583-7403 visit www.aruba.com / www.soulbeach.net for additional information.
June 1ARUBA FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL 2011
Fourth annual food and wine tasting event features a pastry extravaganza with famous invited chefs showcasing their talents. This three-day culinary event concludes with a final extravaganza in a tribute to a famous band or artist. Contact Ramiro Rafael at Tel. (297) 586-4466 ext. 2117 / Fax (297) 586-9286 / E-mail ramiro.rafael@westin.com for additional information.
June 22-28ARUBA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2012
For eight days Aruba will be the center of attention in the world of Cinematography as actors, producers, film-makers and international media experience the AIFF which brings the international film community to Aruba and share the beauty of Aruba with the world. Contact Tremendo Productions Tel. (297) 586-7450 / F. (297) 586-7455 E-mail info@arubafilm.com or visit www.aiff.aw / www.arubafilm.com for additional information.
June 24DERA GAI (ST. JOHN’S DAY)
Aruba’s harvest festival is now a cultural celebration featuring traditional song and dance. The symbol of the rooster and bright yellow and red costumes are central to events held at various locations, including community centers. Tel. (297) 582-2185 / www.gobierno.aw
June 1ARUBA BEACH TENNIS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Ingredients of this new game are fun, sun and playing tennis on the beach. The net is almost 6 ft. high and the court is volleyball-sized. Open for tennis fans. Held at Divi Winds Beach. Contact Sjoerd de Vries at Tel. (297) 593-6512 or Aruba Tennis (297) 583-7074/ Fax. (297) 588-4278 / E-mail sjoerd@tennisaruba.com or visit www.arubabeachtennis.com for additional information.
JunePWA PROFESSIONAL COMPETITION
At the occasion of this year’s 25th anniversary edition of the Aruba Hi-Winds, the PWA World Tour is adding to the festivities, making a stop on Aruba with its Freestylers and Slalom racers. PWA Grand Slam event followed by the 25th Aruba Hi-Winds, together making it a true Pro-Am extravaganza, reviving the spirit of 25 years ago. Contact www.pwaworldtour.com for additional information.
June 26thARUBA HI-WINDS
Aruba’s trade winds provide the perfect conditions for the largest amateur windsurfing event in the Caribbean. Exciting windsurfing and kite boarding competitions in various categories including men, women, juniors, masters, free style and kite surfing including a long distance and King of the Huts. Competitions are held off the beaches at Fisherman’s Huts at Hadicurari. Contact Aruba Tourism Authority at Tel. (297) 5823777 / Fax (297) 583-7403 / or visit www.aruba.com or www.arubahiwinds.org for additional information.
July 7-819th ANNUAL ARUBA REEF CARE PROJECT
A clean-up of the island’s most popular beaches, dive and snorkel sites helps raise awareness for a clean marine environment. With over 800 participants including local residents and visitors from around the world, it is the island’s largest volunteer environmental initiative. Contact Aruba Tourism Authority at Tel. (297) 582-3777 / Fax (297) 583-7403 / E-mail c.perez@aruba.com for additional information.
July 27thARUBA’S INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLON
International competitors participate in a triathlon including a 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike race and a 10 km run also for beginners we have a sprint triathlon of 750 m swim, 20 km bike and 5 km run. More than 100 athletes are expected to participate in the event hosted by the Aruba Triathlon Association. For registration and more information contact Maximilian Irving at Tel. (297) 594-5814/ or E-mail arubatriathlon@hotmail.com. It starts at eagle beach and it’s on a safe and closed circuit.
Aug.ARUBA REMBRANDT REGATTA 2012
A two day open sailing event featuring yachts, catamaran, sunfish and windsurfing organized by Café Rembrandt. This event comprises good sailing in Aruba’s coastal waters during the day and a music festival during evening hours. Contact the organizing committee at rembrandtregatta@live.com or call (297) 565-6887 for registration and additional information.
Aug. 24-2618th ARUBA INTERNATIONAL PRO-AM GOLF TOURNAMENT
Professional and amateur golfers team up in a two-day, 36-hole tournament featuring gifts, prizes and special events. Contact Tierra Del Sol at Tel. (297) 586-7800 / Fax (297) 586-4970 or E-mail adam.williamson@tierradelsol.com. More information can also be obtained through Aruba Tourism Authority at Tel. (297) 582-3777 / Fax (297) 583 -7403 or E-mail a.boekhoudt@aruba.com
SeptemberTHE ARUBA WINE EXTRAVAGANZA
Featuring South America’s most prestigious wines, 40 – 50 wineries will be present for this three-day celebration that culminates in a gala dinner and awards night. Contact Mr. Clive Faustin at Tel. (297) 523-4676 / Fax (297) 583-5389 or E-mail clive.faustin@romartrading.com for additional information or visit www.arubawineextravanganza.com
September 233rd TURIBANA TO SANTA CRUZ 10K RACE
This open road race starts at 5:30 a.m. at Panaderia del Campo in Noord and finishes at the Betico Croes Sports Complex (Compleho Deportivo Betico Croes) in Santa Cruz. Registration begins on August 1, 2011. Contact IDEFRE Tel. (297)-582-4987 or Fax (297) 583-6478/ E-mail idefre@aruba.gov.aw for additional information or registration.
Sept.ARUBA PIANO FESTIVAL
An enchanting, richly rewarding and quite unforgettable classical experience featuring some of world's most acclaimed musicians. This festival is probably the most important annual chamber music event in the Caribbean region. Contact Mr. Armand Simon at Tel. (297) 737-6797 / E-mail info@arubapianofestival.com / www.arubapianofestival.com for additional information
October 728th FIRE PREVENTION 10K & 5K RUN
This 10K race following a circular route, beginning and ending at the Fire House in Tanki Flip, is open to all runners. The race begins at 4:00 p.m. Registration begins on September 1, 2011. Contact IDEFRE Tel. (297)-582-4987 / Fax (297)-583-6478 / E-mail idefre@aruba.gov.aw for additional information or registration.
October 5-6CARIBBEAN SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL 2012
This annual outdoor festival promises an impressive line-up of local and international musicians at Cas di Cultura. Headliners from past festivals were Michel Camilo, Praful and Randal Corsen, Ploctoons, Moonbaker, Cubop City Band, Paoli Mejias, David Sandborn,Izaline Calister,Isaac Delgado.Contact the Entertainment Group NV at Tel. (297) 588-0211 / Fax (297) 583-8606 / E-mail info@caribbeansejazz.com / www.caribbeanseajazz.com for additional information. Venue: Cas di Cultura / website www.casdicultura.com
October 26-28THE RETURN OF MONSTERTRUCKS 2012
Organized by the Brute Racing Organization featuring 6 Monster Trucks, Motorcycle Extreme Show and an Extreme competition with Canon Lady and much more. Venue: Don Elias Mansur Ballpark. Contact Jeff Lopez at info@ingenuityaruba.com or Ven Eman at ven.aruba@gmail.com for additional information.
NovemberAruba In Style (Fashion Week)
Aruba in Style – a yearly fashion, entertainment and lifestyle event. is a mix of fashion shows, networking opportunities, presentations and shopping at one of the Caribbean’s most exciting destinations. Contact Aruba Tourism Authority at Tel. (297) 582-3777 / Fax (297) 583-7403 or visit www.aruba.com / for additional information.
November 11thNATIONAL COASTAL CLEAN UP
National clean-up day concentrating on areas near and along the coast. Contact Vanessa Rasmussen at Tel. (297) 582-2607 / Fax (297) 5824202 or E-mail vanessa@ahata.com for more information.
NovemberARUBA BEACH TENNIS INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Aruba is among the first to host an international tournament in the new sport of beach tennis. International beach tennis pro’s take part but most of the participants are amateurs. Competitions will be held at Moomba Beach. Contact Sjoerd de Vries at (297) Tel. 593-6512 or Aruba Tennis (297) 583-7074 / Fax (297) 588-4278 / E-mail sjoerd@tennisaruba.com or visit www.arubabeachtennis.com for additional information.
December 5SAINT NICOLAS DAY
Children receive gifts on the birthday of “Sinterklaas” (Saint Nicolas). Sinterklaas dressed in bishop’s robes and accompanied by his “Zwarte Pieten” (helpers) officially arrives in Aruba a couple of weeks before his birthday. His arrival by boat at Paardenbaai Harbor in Oranjestad is celebrated with great fanfare. On the days before December 5, children leave out shoes and treats for Sinterklaas’ white horse in anticipation of Sinterklaas’ nighttime arrival. Sinterklaas and his helpers are often spotted during the daytime at events sponsored by schools and commercial establishments.
December 25CHRISTMAS
Official holiday
December 26BOXING DAY
Official holiday
December 27DANDE FESTIVAL
One of the biggest traditional musical events is the Dande Festival. Over 50 singers accompanied by typical musical groups present their original composition and lyrics as well as the traditional dande. A Dande group is a troupe of traveling musicians brightening the New Year with a song bestowing blessings, goodwill and prosperity. Venue: TBA at 8:00 p.m.
Weekly Events:
BON BINI FESTIVAL
Visit Fort Zoutman, the oldest building on the island, located in Oranjestad, and enjoy our famous Bon Bini Festival, a weekly local folkloric music and dance festival where you can catch the flavor of the island, its people, music, cuisine and hospitality. “Bon bini” means “Welcome” in Papiamento, and that is the perfect word to describe the enthusiastic environment of this festival. The festival takes place every Tuesday from 7:00-9:00 p.m. *Entrance Fee

ARUBA CULINARY FESTIVAL
Presented by the Aruba Gastronomic Association and Divi Resorts, the Aruba Culinary Festival takes place on the first Monday of the month at the scenic outdoor plaza at Divi Links (below Mulligan’s). Taste the delicious signature dishes of AGA restaurants and fine international wines. Local artists and artisans and live music add an authentic Aruban touch. For more information, call (297) 586-1266 or visit www.arubadining.com

Disclaimer:
This calendar of events has been supplies by the Aruba Tourism Authority to provide general information about events and activities taking place in Aruba during 2012. This information is subject to change without any notice. All efforts have been made to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information of each event. Aruba Tourism Authority is not liable for any possible errors, omissions or cancellations.

Revised October 4, 2011