Aruba's Events and Festivals

Aruba's Events and Festivals

Photo credit: © FotoCastor

Festivals in Aruba
 

Arubans are well-known for their fun, easy-going festivals and events. Aruba offers exciting events for everyone from single tourists to families with children. You can purchase food and drink at most festivals, and don't be surprised if a crafty souvenir catches your eye. One thing is certain: You will definitely enjoy your Aruban festival experience.

Weekly Festivals

The Bon Bini Festival takes place every Tuesday evening, rain or shine, from 7:00 to 8:30. Check out local food, drink, music, dancing, arts, and crafts. "Bon bini" means "welcome" in Papiamentu, and that's the perfect word to describe the enthusiastic environment of this festival. The Bon Bini festival showcases some of Aruba's most amazing artists. Steel drum musicians and dancers exude talent, and local artists and craftsmen show off their very best wares. Admission to this event is usually around $3 (USD) but can fluctuate; food and drink costs are separate, so make sure to budget for that, as well as for any purchases you may make!

Also similar to the Bon Bini festival is the weekly Carubbian festival held on Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on San Nicolas Mainstreet. This festival highlights Caribbean heritage through traditional dance, music, food, and art. The festival begins with a music and dance performance, continues with an open-air street market, and concludes with a presentation on Caribbean culture at the St. Teresita Center.

 

Annual Festivals  

...drink, dance, and mingle the night away.

 

Every year, locals and tourists alike depend on their favorite festivals to return for some amazing entertainment. Whether they be sporting, music, or food related, there are festivals and events annually for people of all tastes.

Carnival is a very popular event, sometimes coinciding with the beginning of Lent. This grandiose, two month-long festival is filled with fantastic parties, dinners, parades, and events. Carnival in Aruba begins with two children's festivals and parades, before kicking it up a notch. The Carnival Queen Competition takes place in Oranjestad, where women finally show off the Carnival costumes they've worked on all year. The first Grand Carnival Parade is held in San Nicolas, and the second in Oranjestad. Both feature amazing handmade floats and costumes, entertaining Aruban song and dance, and delicious food and drink. Afterwards, marking the end of Carnival, the Farewell Parade and the Burning of King Momo takes place. The papier mache representation of King Momo is burned and his ashes are then used later on for Ash Wednesday. Resorts, restaurants, and bars host their own Carnival celebrations across the island.

In 2011, a new event was introduced to the Carnival season: Carnival Flip Flop Beach Party. Usually taking place in April, this fun event is created by placing sand right on the Village Square in Palm Beach to create a beach scene amidst the popular clubs. As night falls, DJs and several well-known Caribbean artists play live music while attendees have the opportunity to drink, dance, and mingle the night away.

Maps

A relatively new event happening in April, the Eat Local Aruba Food Truck Festival, gets all of Aruba's local food trucks in one place so you can get all the flavors in one food-filled weekend! Craft beers and live music will make for en exciting evening.

Starting during Memorial Day weekend and lasting for five days, the Soul Beach Music Festival features a series of concerts that r&b and soul music lovers will thrill over. Day events and nightly parties at various clubs in the area keep the excitement going.

Professional and amateur windsurfers alike can get in on the action in July with the Hi-Winds Tournament.  Here, everyone can participate to see where they rank in the sport by entering any of the numerous events. Surfers are ranked in events that focus on various windsurfing maneuvres, plus there is a kitesurfing race, a motorcycle race, and a lot of partying. 

A fun distraction from the August heat, Aruba hosts the One Cool Summer International Dragrace. This event is a fundraiser that brings local and international drag racers together to raise money for different local causes each year! Visitors can come out and watch drivers burn some rubber.

Also in August, the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta draws crowds to the beach to watch catamarans from around the world race for prizes. Races generally run from early morning to early evening, but you will find live music, happy hour, and award ceremonies to fill your time.

In September of every year, the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival Aruba takes place in Oranjestad at the Renaissance Festival Plaza which turns the island into a world full of caribbean flavor and sound. This festival is very well-known and beloved by both visitors and locals. As a wonderful compliment to the auditory delight filling the air, the CSJF Art Expo features visual artists work as well as a live collaboration. With a weekend full of performances by popular names in a range of genres including soul, jazz, latin, hip-hop, salsa and blues, and a variety of caribbean dishes everywhere, this weekend festival is one visitors definitely want on their bucket list.

Another September event is the Island Takeover Electric Festival. A four-day full-on party, this festival attracts a very young, lively crowd and welcomes more than 10,000 visitiors each year. Raging on from day to night, it includes stage performances, pool parties, block parties, and boat parties.

In October, the Aruba Art Fair sets up a three day weekend in San Nicolas to showcase the economic and cultural riches in Aruba. Over 150 artists and creators present their work to the public. Guests can purchase works and speak to the artists themselves.

ATech Conference, a one-day event in October, provides a platform for tech startups to network within the technological field. For those interested in becoming involved or learning more about surveillance, design, and AI, tickets sell for about $75.

Halloween is an extremely popular holiday the constantly revolves around parties. On Halloween day, you can enjoy the Halloween Celebration in Aruba where hotels and resorts in the area host trick-or-treat events for children while also hosting adult parties.

In November, there's the Aruba LoveFestival, a free-spirited weekend that gives House Music lovers a unique but relaxed environment where they can enjoy a flip-flop free vibe and quality music. Other genres included in the festival are reggae, local, caribbean, and techno. Come for the unique blend of music, but stay for the beach and pool parties all weekend.

In 2012, Aruba announced a new event, Eat Local Aruba Restaurant Month. The event, while meant to encourage locals to dine at local restaurants, is open to tourists as well. Several local restaurants offer a three course meal at a discounted rate in order to allow guests the opportunity to sample Caribbean fare. Lunches usually go for $15 and dinners are served for $30 to $40.

Mid December is the moment for fashionistas. Aruba Fashion Week hosts fashions shows right on the island and even a Fashion Talks Conference. If you're waiting to meet a designer, or like-minded people, social events and cocktail hours are held through the week for schmoozing.

Whatever festival you chose to attend, it's crucial to check with your hotel concierge or local tourist guides, since time, location, and cost fluctuate as events and festivals become more popular. If you are planning to visit exclusively for an annual festival like Carnival, check out Aruba's official tourism website, www.arubatourism.com, for updated cost, date, and time information.

 

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