Calendar of Events 2018

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-FebruaryARUBA 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 February 11, 2018.
January 6ARUBA'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 19 - 25ARUBA INTERNATIONAL BIKE WEEK
Didn't bring your Harley with you? No worries—just watching hundreds of bikes parade around the island is a remarkable sight to see! This annual international bike event attracts bikers from several countries who ship their motorcycles here to participate in the festivities. Contact Mr. Rudy Croes at Tel. (297) 593-5344 or croesrudy@gmail.com, or Mr. Nahar at Tel. (297) 593-0014 or ttt.riders.aruba@gmail.com.
January 19CHILDREN'S 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's Carnival Queen election are between the ages of 6 and 9 years and for the Youth Carnival 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.
January 20GRAND 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 8:00 p.m.
January 22-24PRE-FINAL ARUBA CAISO & SOCA MONARCH
Setting the tone for the music of the new Carnival season, hundreds of talented locals compete for entry into the grand finals for King or Queen of Aruba's Calypso and Road March. Venue: Carnival Village in San Nicolas at 8 p.m.-12:00 a.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 FUN 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 6:00 p.m. Open registration through IBISA at Tel. (297)-582-4987, Fax (297)-583-6478, or ibisaaruba@gmail.com
January 26CARNIVAL QUEEN AND MRS. CARNIVAL ELECTION
During a fun-filled event, Aruba elects its two most important Carnival representatives: the Aruba Carnival Queen and Mrs. Carnival. Contestants of the Aruba Carnival Queen Election are between the ages of 17 and 25, while the Mrs. Carnival contestants are more experienced participants—young at heart and full of pride—representing districts, schools, and social clubs on the island. Marked by lavish production numbers, the election is judged by a panel of local and international judges. Highlights of this festive election event include skits and joyful displays of Carnival costumes and dance. Venue: Aruba Entertainment Center at 7:30 p.m.
January 27CHILDREN'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.
January 27GRAND FINAL CAISO & SOCA MONARCH CONTEST
Attracting more than 10,000 spectators, one of the most exciting and popular local music festivals is the annual Calypso and Road March contest. This festival is your best bet for enjoying imaginative 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 Road March, helping to define the Carnival season. The most popular songs will be featured in the upcoming jump-ups and parades. Venue: Carnival Village in San Nicolas at 8 p.m.-3:00 a.m.
January 28CHILDREN'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 3JOUVERT 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 3ARUBA'S 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 4CHILDREN'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 4OLD MASK PARADE AND BURNING OF KING MOMITO
Children's Carnival parades comes to an official end by burning of "King Momito." This is preceded by a parade throughout the streets of Oranjestad. The parade starts at 8 p.m.
February 8SAN NICOLAS LIGHTING PARADE
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 10SAN NICOLAS GRAND CARNIVAL PARADE
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 noon in San Nicolas.
February 11ARUBA'S 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 10:00 a.m. in Oranjestad and continues into the early evening hours. In 2019, the Grand Parade will take place on Sunday, March 3. Contact the Aruba Carnival Organizer (SMAC) at Tel. (297) 592-8792 or info@smacaruba.com for additional information.
February 11BURNING OF KING MOMO AND CLOSING OF ARUBA'S CARNIVAL
Carnival comes to an official end with the burning of "King Momo." The event is held at 8 p.m.at Oranjestad Harbor Arena.
February 12CARNIVAL MONDAY
Official holiday.
February 14ASH WEDNESDAY
This Christian event is prominently marked on the island at our many Catholic churches and begins the official start of the Lenten season. Locally, Ash Wednesday also represents the end of the Carnival season.
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 25ARUBA 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 7, 2018. Contact IBISA at Tel. (297) 582-4987, Fax (297) 583-6478, or ibisa.aruba@gmail.com/ ibisa.socialmedia@gmail.com or visit the Website www.ibisaaruba.com for additional information or registration.
March 30GOOD FRIDAY
Official holiday
April 1-2EASTER SUNDAY AND EASTER MONDAY
Official holidays
April 22EARTH DAY
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life, and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify, and mobilize the environmental movement. Here on Aruba, many resorts and businesses celebrate Earth Day with interactive events and activities to promote awareness.
April 27INTERNATIONAL 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 Vanessa Tromp at Tel. (297) 593-5801 or arruwac@gmail.com for additional Information.
April 27KING'S BIRTHDAY
An official government ceremony paying honor to King Willem Alexander 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 7AMSTERDAM MANOR BEACH RESORT ANNUAL 10K RUN
Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort 10K run and 5K fun walk/run to raise funds for the Red Cross to contribute to their efforts. For more information please send an email to: hrmanagerasst@amsterdammanor.aw or call: +297-587-0107
May 10ASCENSION DAY
Official holiday
May 7-11AHATA RECYCLING ART COMPETITION/EXPOSITION
Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association organizes annually an awareness campaign for adults and kids promoting the re-use of old articles to create recycled art. Last day for registration is April 14. Exposition @ UNOCA Stadionweg 21, Oranjestad, Aruba. Free entrance. For more information please contact The Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association at Tel. (297) 582-2607, Fax (297) 582-4202, or vanessa@ahata.com.
May 23-28ARUBA SOUL BEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL
Held on Memorial Day holiday weekend, the Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival is a star-studded, two-night concert series that has featured such artists as Mary J. Blige, Tony Braxton, Alicia Keys, Sinbad, Jennifer Hudson, Ne-yo, Babyface, Robin Thicke, Charlie Wilson,Trey Songz, The Isley Brothers, featuring Ronald and Enest Isley, singer-songwriter Fantasia and Jazmine Sullivan, Usher, The Roots, Cedric the Entertainer. Venue: Harbor Arena. Contact: email at: info@soulbeach.net Visit: www.soulbeach.net for additional information.
June 3KLM ARUBA INTERNATIONAL MARATHON
The KLM Aruba International Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K Race is AIMS/ IAAF certified and is organized on the highest International level. e-mail: info@arubainternationalmarathon.com / Tel. IBISA (297) 582-4987 / https://registration.mylaps.com/aruba-marathon/
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 24ARUBA 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. Beginning at Eagle Beach, the event is planned on a safe and closed circuit. More than 100 athletes are expected to participate in the event hosted by the Aruba Triathlon Association. For registration and information contact Glenda Croes-Tromp at Tel. (297) 594-0067 or arubatriathlon@hotmail.com / Glenda_croes@hotmail.com or visit www.arubatriathlon.com.
June 29-30ARUBA SUMMER FESTIVAL
This two-day festival features exciting artists never before seen live in Aruba. Previous editions have featured artists like Nicky Jam, Jerry Rivera, Elvis Crespo, Carlos Vives, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias and Gente de Zona, Juan Luis Guerra, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Maluma, Zion & Lennox. Confirmed for 2018 Festival's edition are performances by: Ozuna, Nacho, Eddy Herrera, Felipe Pipe Pelaez, Foseca & Victor Manuel. Along with the performances of Aruba's local bands: Buleria, D'Licious & N'Fuzion. Packages for the festival are available. Email Loco Lobo Productions at: info@arubasmf.com for additional information.
July 3-9ARUBA 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 are held off Hadicurari Beach (Fisherman's Huts). There are five days of non-stop entertainment, beach parties, events, and activities. Email: hiwindsaruba@gmail.com / or visit www.aruba-hiwinds.org for additional information.
August 17-19ARUBA INTERNATIONAL REGATTA
This sailing event features fun, action, and competitions among international yachts, catamarans, Sunfish, and windsurfers during the day, combined with music, parties, and dinners at night. Contact the Organizing Committee at Tel. (297) 565-6887 or eric@aruba-regatta.com, or visit www.aruba-regatta.com for registration and additional information.
August 24-26ARUBA 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 teetime@tierradelsol.com for more information.
September 6-8ONE COOL SUMMER INTERNATIONAL DRAG RACE
This exciting international drag racing competition will take place at the Palo Marga International Raceway Park. Contact Lucho Werleman at Tel. (297) 593-4125 or luchotowing@hotmail.com, or visit the website www.draginaruba.com for additional information.
September 9TURIBANA TO SANTA CRUZ 10K RACE
A unique way to experience an Aruban sunrise is during this open road race that starts at 5:30 a.m. at Panaderia del Campo in Noord and finishes at the Betico Croes Sports Complex in Santa Cruz. Registration begins on August 20, 2018. Contact IBISA at Tel. (297) 582-4987, Fax (297) 583-6478, or ibisaaruba@gmail.com/ ibisa.socialmedia@gmail.com or visit the Website www.ibisaaruba.com for additional information or registration.
September 20-21CARIBBEAN SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL ARUBA
This annual festival ignites Aruba's music scene with an impressive lineup of international and local jazz, Latin, soul, and funk musicians at Renaissance Marketplace. It is not only about music; the vibrating atmosphere, food stands, and numerous bars make this an unforgettable, unique experience. There is a four-day warm-up preceding the festival held at smaller, intimate venues. Famous featured artists at past festivals include George Benson, Candy Dulfer, David Sanborn, Chakan Khan, Oscar d' Leon, Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Prince Royce, Grupo Niche, Earth, Wind & Fire Experience and Kool & the Gang, Ruben Blades, Maceo Parker, Zuco 103, Habana all Stars, Shirma Rouse, and…. Contact Caribbean Sea Foundation at Tel. (297) 588-0211 or info@caribbeanseajazz.com or visit www.caribbeanseajazz.com for additional information. Venue: Renaissance Marketplace downtown
September 23ARUBA REEF CARE PROJECT
If you are in search of a great eco-tourism opportunity, join more than 800 participants from both the local community and those visiting us from abroad for the island's largest volunteer initiative. A cleanup of the island's most popular beaches and dive and snorkel sites helps raise awareness for a clean marine environment. Contact Mr. Castro Perez at Tel. (297) 740-0797 or castroeperez@gmail.com for additional information.
September 27WORLD TOURISM DAY
Event celebrated with a conference. Contents and venue TBD. For more info: www.aruba.com or call (297) 582-3777 or email support@aruba.com
September 28-30ART FAIR ARUBA
Starting in the month of June and culminating in September Aruba is infused with art. The Aruba Art fair consists of different elements such as a Culinary Art Competition, Building Take Overs (Visual Art), Art TV Program, Art Magazine, School Art Contest, Sculpture Making and the 3-Day Art Fair in San Nicolas. The 3-day fair takes place in the streets of San Nicolas where local and international artists will be performing live art and displaying their masterpieces. The fair is combined with other forms of art such as music, dance and other creative forms of expression. Venue San Nicolas. Contact Mr. Bolivar Tel +(297) 593 4475 or visit www.arubaartfair.com for additional information.
October TBAFIRE PREVENTION 10K & 5K RUN
Don't forget to pack your running shoes! This race is open to all local and visiting runners (and walkers!), and follows a circular route that begins and ends at the Fire House in Tanki Flip. The race begins at 4:00 p.m. Contact IBISA at Tel. (297) 582-4987, Fax (297) 583-6478, or ibisaaruba@gmail.com/ ibisa.socialmedia@gmail.com or visit the Website www.ibisaaruba.com for additional information or registration.
OctoberEAT LOCAL RESTAURANT MONTH
Indulge in the island's zesty flavors at the Eat Local Restaurant month with more than 60 restaurants participaiting, offering critics, wine connoisseurs, foodies, and everyone in between the chance to sample Aruba's diverse culinary heritage. Contact the Aruba Tourism Authority at Tel. (297) 582-3777 or Fax 583-7403, or visit www.aruba.com for additional information.
October TBAATECH* CONFERENCE
This Multi-day day event is a gathering of entrepreneurial minds where startup founders, investors, world-class speakers and key global players in the technology will discuss the future of tech and will showcase the latest and greatest trends in the industry. Contact Mrs. Valerie Croes at +1-347 4200919 or Mr. Tristan Every at Tel.(297) 594-8300 or info@atechconference.com or visit the website www.atechconference.com for additional information.
November 3ANNUAL AHATA NATIONAL COASTAL CLEAN UP
Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association organizes annually a national cleanup concentrating on areas near and along the coastline. For more information please contact AHATA at Tel. (297) 582-2607, Fax (297) 582-4202, or send an email to vanessa@ahata.com
November 11-18ARUBA INTERNATIONAL BEACH TENNIS TOURNAMENT
Aruba's international beach tennis event is the premier tournament in the Caribbean. International beach tennis pros and amateurs travel from around the world to compete in the prestigious tournament and take part in the festive beach-chic ambiance on gorgeous Eagle Beach. Contact Sjoerd de Vries at Tel. (297) 593-6512 or Aruba Tennis at Tel. (297) 583-7074, Fax (297) 588-4278, or sjoerd@tennisaruba.com, or visit www.arubabeachtennis.com for additional information.
November TBATEDX ARUBA
In a world that has its challenges we need people who speak up and who can show us the way to lead and create a wave of positive vibrations. At TEDxAruba we are happy and humble to welcome the thinkers and do-ers who can teach and lead us. Contact TEDXARUBA visit the website www.tedxaruba.com for additional information.
November TBAINTERPASO
Interpaso in Aruba is a showdown of the best Paso Fino horses from Latin America and the Caribbean competing in different categories. Interpaso is organized by OCA, the Aruban Horse Riding Organization. A must-see if you enjoy Paso Fino show horses, horse riding, horse competitions, and an exciting, local ambiance! Contact Mrs. Betty Werleman at Tel. (297) 563-5878 or ocaboard@ocaruba.com for additional information.
November TBALOVE FESTIVAL
The word says it all; Love Festival is all about love. Love for Aruba, love for the beach, love for each other, love for the universe and especially love for dance music. Three days, featuring, about 50 plus internationaland local DJ's set to perform from noon till midnight and beyond. Previous editions have featured Chris Lake, Franky Rizardo, David Tort, Adrian Hour, Andre Hommen, Saeed Yoenan, Patrick M,. Maksym, Natsuj, Alex Young. Early bird tickets, weekend and VIP passes are available online and through several retail locations. For more information on tickets and travel packages, please visit www.lovefestivalaruba.com.
December 5SAINT NICOLAS DAY
Aruba's children line Oranjestad's harbor for the ceremonious arrival by boat of "Sinterklaas" (Saint Nicolas), dressed in bishop's robes and accompanied by his "Zwarte Pieten" (helpers). For days before Sinterklaas' birthday on December 5, children leave out their shoes and treats for Sinterklaas' white horse in anticipation of his nighttime visit and gifts. Sinterklaas and his helpers appear at many daytime events throughout the island.
December 10-15ARUBA CUP - PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR Latino América is a professional golf tour created in 2012 by the PGA TOUR in collaboration with promoters, clubs and national golf Federations in Latin America. The Aruba Cup is one-of-a-kind team match play competition that brings top players from two of the PGA TOUR's. Contact Mr. Cisco Quant at Tel. (297) 586 7800 Ext. 206 or cisco.quant@tierradelsol.com or Mr. Oliver Riding oliver.riding@tierradelsol.com or www.tierradelsol.com for additional information.
December 25CHRISTMAS
Official holiday
December 26BOXING DAY
Official holiday
December 27DANDE FESTIVAL
In Aruba's biggest traditional musical event, more than 50 singers accompanied by typical musical groups present their original compositions and lyrics as well as the traditional Dande song. 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
Bonbini means "Welcome!" in Papiamento, and this weekly folkloric music and dance festival is the perfect introduction to the warmth and hospitality of Aruba's people. The Bonbini Festival takes place in downtown Oranjestad in the outdoor courtyard of Fort Zoutman, Aruba's oldest building. Catch the flavor of the island, its history, people, music, and cuisine during this entertaining event held every Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

CARUBBIAN FESTIVAL - TBD if it will continue
The Carubbian Festival takes place in San Nicolas every Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., showcasing the multicultural charms of Aruba's "Sunrise City." The center of activities is a stage area around which the audience can relax and enjoy a taste of delicious Aruban and Caribbean cuisine and a parade of local entertainers. Closed to traffic, the main street is a pedestrian mall filled with colorful booths selling food, handicrafts, and souvenirs, with fun activities for the whole family. Packages including round-trip transportation are sold at hotels.

Disclaimer:
This Calendar of Events has been produced by the Aruba Tourism Authority to provide general information about events and activities taking place in Aruba during 2018. 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 at the time of printing. The Aruba Tourism Authority is not liable for any possible errors, omissions, or cancellations.

Revised February 22, 2018