Aruba’s Calendar of Events
New Year’s Plunge
The New Year’s Plunge at Moomba Beach is a super-fun community event that invites everyone to mark the new year by plunging into the sea. The plunge takes place at noon sharp, and participation is free of charge.
January 5 – March 3
Aruba Carnaval Season
Aruba’s Carnaval season is the biggest and longest celebration of the year, spanning two whole months. The season is marked by day and night parades, music contests, queen elections, and jump-ups, all powered by beloved Carnaval tunes and featuring extravagant costumes. Locals encourage island guests to share in the Carnaval spirit. Go here for a full Carnaval schedule. See below for most popular Carnaval events.
Carnaval Fakkel Parade
Fakkel is the much-anticipated opening parade of the Aruba Carnaval season. This year, the parade starts at the Aruba Entertainment Center at 8 pm and winds through the streets of Oranjestad.
Boat Fest 2019
Hosted by Chill Beer and Varadero Aruba Marina & Boatyard, this music event will feature a variety of bands and deejays, including Upgrade Music ft. Jeon, Tsunami, Mystical Connection, Sam Blans, FAB, Nutzbeatz, Yeimy, and Spike. Don’t miss it! 12 noon to 11 pm. Visit the Facebook page for more information.
January 24 – 28
International Bike Week
Aruba’s annual International Bike Week invites Harley bikers from around the world to tour the island in style. Participate on your own hog, rent one here on the island, or just watch as hundreds of bikers cruise by. A special ride will be held on Betico Croes Day, January 25. For details, contact Rudy Croes at +297-593-5344 or [email protected], or Mr. Nahar at +297-593-0014 or [email protected]
Betico Croes Day Events
On this day, Arubans celebrate the birthday of the late Betico Croes, a charismatic political activist who helped Aruba to become an autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which eventually took place in 1986. This official national holiday features various sporting events, an island-wide Harley Davidson bike tour, culinary festivals, and folkloric shows.
The Betico Croes Memorial Run is a very popular event on the 25th. It takes place in Santa Cruz from 6 am to 10 am. Contact IBISA Aruba for more information.
Foundation Rancho will organize a special Rancho Walking Tour, acquainting both locals and island guests with the history and monuments of one of the oldest neighborhoods of Aruba. The tour will take roughly 2 hours. Times: 9 am & 1 pm. Cost: 10 AWG. Registration starts 30 min before. Starting point: Koningstraat 38, Oranjestad.
The foundation will also showcase the Maritime Photo Expo, open 9 am – 3 pm. Free admission. Address: Koningstraat 38, Oranjestad.
Betico Croes Open Water Championship
Hosted by the Aruba Open Water Swimming and Aruba Swimming Federation AZB, this swimming event includes 3 distances: 1km, 3km, and 5km. The event takes place 7 am – 11:30 am. The first 3 swimmers in each age category will be awarded medals. Entry is possible by sending an email with your name, date of birth, gender, and swim distance to Louella Maduro at [email protected].
Carnaval Grand Tumba Contest
Carnaval Harbour Arena, Oranjestad
Originally from Africa, tumba music played during the Carnaval season in Aruba has a particular Caribbean flavor. The Grand Tumba Contest features local bands and singers competing for the Tumba King or Queen title with their original compositions and lyrics. 8 pm to 2 am.
Grand Final Caiso & Soca Monarch
Carnaval Village, San Nicolas
Several days of pre-final competitions lead up to this grand final event, which features caiso (calypso) and soca musicians vying for the coveted monarch title. 7 pm to 3 am.
Jouvert Morning & Oranjestad Lighting Parade
Starting at 3 am in the morning and going until 8 am, Jouvert Morning is a festive party that takes place in the streets of San Nicolas. Lots of music, lots of dancing, lots of fun!
Then everyone takes a nap in preparation for the Grand Lighting Parade in Oranjestad, which starts at 8 pm at the Aruba Entertainment Center. Paraders deck their costumes out with lights for an extra special effect.
Lighting Parade San Nicolas
Starting at 8 pm, the San Nicolas Lighting Parade lights up the streets on the southern en of the island. As always, pumping sound trucks and amazing Carnaval costumes make for a truly memorable Carnaval experience.
22nd Masquerade Carnaval Party
Renaissance Convention Center
Hosted by Kiwanis Club of Palm Beach, the annual Masquerade Carnaval Party is one of the best Carnaval parties of the season. Proceeds go to charity. 9:30 pm – 2:30 am. Contact the Kiwanis Club of Palm Beach for more information and tickets.
March 2 & 3
San Nicolas Grand Parade & Aruba’s 65th Grand Parade (Oranjestad)
Starting at 10 am, the San Nicolas Grand Parade (March 2) heats up the streets of San Nicolas for one last time. The following day, everyone reconvenes for the final parade of the Aruba Carnaval season, Aruba’s 65th Grand Parade, starting at 10 am in Oranjestad at the Aruba Entertainment Center.
Flag & Anthem Day
On March 18, 1948, the Aruban politician Shon A. Eman presented the first formal proposal for the self-determination of the Aruban people to Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. On March 18, 1976, political leader Betico Croes declared Aruba’s first Flag & Anthem Day. This patriotic holiday is celebrated with a scout parade, a classic-car parade, sporting events, a folkloric performance at Plaza Betico Croes, and special cultural activities at museums in downtown Oranjestad. Island visitors are encouraged to partake in the festivities.
Aruba International Half Marathon
Both locals and international competitors look forward to this annual half marathon covering the length of the island from San Nicolas (Joe Laveist Sport Park) to Oranjestad (Alhambra Casino). The race begins at 5 am. Sign up at www.arubahalfmarathon.com.
The Key Club of the International School of Aruba, in collaboration with the PTA, is hosting its second Color Run—a fun, untimed 5K run/walk where the participants are showered with colored powder.
The event will start at 4:45 pm at the Fisherman’s Huts. Contact the International School of Aruba for more information.
April 26 & 27
Aruba Food Truck Festival
Plaza Daniel Leo, Downtown Oranjestad
Aruba’s food truck scene is highlighted at this annual festival held in the heart of downtown. It’s a family-friendly event and includes live entertainment both evenings. 7 pm to 11 pm.
Aruba celebrates the birth of King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands every year on April 27. Local neighborhoods host family-friendly festivals and street fairs. Kite-flying competitions are a tradition as well.
10K Boulevard Race
L.G. Smith Boulevard to Marriott
This is Aruba’s most popular running race, with competitors from around the world joining runners from the island. Aruba’s cooling trade winds make this a comfortable race, and the 5:30 pm start time ensures you’ll be finishing with the beautiful setting sun. Visit Facebook for more information.
May 6 – 9
AHATA Recycled Art Competition
Sponsored by the Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association, this public awareness campaign encourages children and adults to get creative and upcycle, turning trash into treasures! Visit AHATA’s Facebook page for more information.
Soul Beach Music Festival
Aruba’s Soul Beach Music Festival was voted one of the “Top Five Caribbean Celebrations” by USA TODAY, as well as the #1 “Caribbean Summer Festival” by Jetsetter Magazine. The 19th Annual Soul Beach Music Festival will feature sultry day and night events presented by the hottest internationally renowned performing artists in music and comedy. Past artists have included Mary J. Blige, Tony Braxton, Alicia Keys, Sinbad, Jennifer Hudson, Ne-yo, Babyface, and Robin Thicke. Join the fun! For more information and tickets, visit the website.
KLM Aruba Marathon
Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino
If running is your thing, pack your sneaks and head to breezy Aruba this coming June for the 2nd edition of the KLM Aruba Marathon. Scenic course routes, 4 different course distances, and a post-run celebration—it’s a can’t-miss event for both amateur and seasoned runners. For more information, visit the blog.
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 island community centers.
June 28 & 29
Aruba Summer Music Festival
Harbor Square Arena
This annual music festival features Latin Grammy winners, top deejays, and local performers. For more information and tickets, visit the website.
July 4 – 8
Aruba hosts the largest amateur windsurfing and kite boarding event every summer. Race events include slalom and long-distance courses for both windsurfers and kite boarders.
Even if you are not a competitor, the atmosphere is electric and contagious! Not only are the competitions exciting to watch—especially the Kite Boarding Big Air competition—but the festivities surrounding the event, including beach chic fashion shows, live concerts, and beach parties, create a fun beach culture to experience!
Visit the Aruba Hi-Winds website for more information.
August 16 – 18
Aruba International Regatta
The 11th annual edition of the Aruba International Regatta features several categories of sailing competitions—including yacht, sunfish, and beach cat—as well as festive beach parties.
For more information, visit the website.
August 23 – 25
Aruba International Pro-Am Golf Tournament
This two-day, 36-hole tournament is comprised of teams of four amateurs and one golf professional. The international roster of teams typically includes players representing the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, the Netherlands, Bermuda, Curacao, Aruba, Canada, and beyond.
For more information, please contact James Kiley at +297-586-7800 ext 222 or [email protected].
September 6 – 8
Aruba Art Fair
In the heart of San Nicolas, the Aruba Art Fair offers collectors, arts professionals, and the public the opportunity to engage with a selection of modern and contemporary artworks at affordable prices. Artists from different countries are flying over to exhibit their art on our “One Happy island.” Visit the website for more information.
Turibana to Santa Cruz Race
Run with the sunrise during this annual running event that starts at dawn.
September 20 & 21
Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival
This annual festival was featured on USA TODAY’s list of top music festivals in the Caribbean, and the upcoming two-day festival, jam-packed with local, regional, and international performers, promises to deliver another unforgettable weekend of jazz, blues, soul, and funk in Aruba. Visit the website for more information.
Aruba Reef Care Project
Every year more than 800 volunteers comb Aruba’s beaches and snorkel and dive around the reefs to gather trash in an effort to promote awareness about keeping our beaches and sea clean. It’s the island’s largest volunteer initiative and a great way for visitors to meet locals and positively impact the environment. Contact Mr. Castro Perez at +297-740-0797 or [email protected] for additional information.
Fiesta di Cunucu
This charming event celebrates Aruba’s culture, placing the traditional Aruban cunucu (homestead farm) front and center. The farmhouse will be furnished with museum pieces to give visitors an idea of how the Arubans once lived. The event will also feature a farmers’ market with local products, traditional Aruban music, and folkloric dances.
National Coastal Cleanup 2019
This event, which welcomes both locals and island guests, is sponsored by the Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association. Teams work together to clean areas near and along the coastline, including many beaches outside the tourist area. Please contact AHATA for more information.
November 12 – 17
Aruba Beach Tennis Open 2019
This tournament is the most anticipated beach tennis event held in the world, attracting over 1,000 professional and amateur players from around the globe who come to enjoy 8 days of beach tennis competition, pumping music, and exciting events on the powdery sands of Eagle Beach. Visit the website for more information and a preliminary program.
Thanksgiving Day Celebration
A number of island restaurants celebrate Thanksgiving with incredible feasts for you, your family, and friends.
December 31 – January 1
New Year’s Eve Celebration
Aruba hosts an incredible islandwide fireworks display that occurs organically as locals and hotels set off thousands of fireworks that light up the sky. It’s a magical experience you will never forget!