Like much of the Caribbean,
Aruba knows how to party. Aruba festivals celebrate everything
from traditional Caribbean holidays to modern music, and
other events in Aruba focus on activities common to the
island, including golf and windsurfing. While relaxing
on the beach or in a casino are fine activities, taking up some Aruba events will
add some spice to your vacation on this island as well
as acquaint you with the unique and fun Aruban culture.
Here are some of the annually recurring festivals and
events to watch for on your visit.
Aruba Music Festival
The Aruba Music Festival occurs each year during either September or October. The event takes place at the Aruba Entertainment Center, just outside of Oranjestad and 15 minutes by car from the hotel district. Often featuring retro musicians and classic rock (past years have included Crosby, Stills & Nash and Pat Benetar), the Aruba Music Festival is sure to be a fun evening out. The venue has no obstructed views, great sound quality, and is open air so that you don't have to stop enjoying the perfect weather and scenery during the concert.
While Trinidad is the king of Carnival, Aruba latches on to this festival as well and there are really no other Aruba festivals that match this one. For several weeks starting usually in February (dates correspond to lent), colorful floats, music, costumes, and parades turn Aruba into one big party. This is a great time to visit, but also a popular time so make reservations well in advance.
Of events in Aruba that really touch on the local culture, the Caribbean Festival in San Nicolas is one of the best. Every Thursday year round from 5 to 8:30 p.m. in San Nicolas, local dance, food, arts, and a presentation highlight all things great about Aruban culture.
Located at Fort Zoutman in Oranjestad, the Bonbini Festival is another of the events in Aruba that focuses on local dance, music, food, crafts, and culture. This one runs on Tuesdays year round from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
St. John's Day
Some festivals in Aruba echo the Spanish or Dutch history on the island and St. John's Day in June is one of these. Following in the tradition of the Spanish celebration of San Juan, St. John's Day features the bright colors of Aruba mixed with song and dance to celebrate the harvest. Islanders wear bright red, yellow, and black and images of roosters are common.
The best of Aruba festivals
for golf lovers is the Aruba International Pro-Am Golf
Tournament. Played in August at the island's world-class golf course, Tierra del Sol,
the tournament is played by teams consisting of one professional
and four amateurs.
In July at Malmok Beach in Oranjestad, the Hi-Winds Festival pits the best of the best windsurfers and kite boarders against each other. With near perfect conditions for these sports, this festival attracts some of the world's most skilled. Either watching or participating is likely to be exciting.