Guest Author - Ann Carroll Burgess
Do you need a reason to visit Aruba? Probably not. Arubaís identity of being "one happy island," is a terrific place to be any time of the year. But, if you need a reason, here are a bakerís dozen of fun-filled events. From the Aruba Food and Wine Festival to the Grand Carnival Parade, from beach tennis challenges to international poker tournaments, Aruba's upcoming special events will turn the island into a festive and competitive environment which will capture all the distinctive and fun experiences Aruba has to offer visitors.
ARUBA'S 55th ANNUAL GRAND CARNIVAL PARADE, Feb. 22, 2009
Music, luxurious floats and costumes are only some of the components of the largest Carnival parade taking place through Oranjestad on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. The parade is part of a month-long Carnival celebration of street parties, festive parades and creative contests for locals and visitors alike.
ARUBA FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL, May 22-24, 2009
The fourth annual food and wine tasting event, held at the Westin Aruba Resort, will feature a pastry extravaganza with famous chefs showcasing their talents. This three-day culinary event concludes with a concert highlighting the celebration of a renowned international musical band or artist.
ARUBA SOUL BEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL, May 20-25, 2009
The Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival is a remarkable event highlighting comedy nights and special performances. The two-night concert series takes place at the Aruba Entertainment Center in Oranjestad and has featured past performances by artists including Alicia Keys, Chaka Khan, Wyclef Jean, India Arie and Lauryn Hill.
ARUBA'S 24th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLON, June 21, 2009
Competitors from around the world participate in a triathlon including a 1.5K swim, 40K bike race and a 10K run. More than 100 athletes are expected to participate in the event, hosted by the Aruba Triathlon Association.
23rd ANNUAL ARUBA HI-WINDS, July 1-6, 2009
Aruba's trade winds provide the perfect conditions for the largest amateur windsurfing event in the Caribbean. The event takes place at Beaches at Fisherman's Hut - Hadicurari and features exciting windsurfing and kite boarding competitions in various categories, including men, women, juniors, masters, free style and kite.
16th ANNUAL ARUBA REEF CARE PROJECT, July 4-5, 2009
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.
ARUBA 15th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL PRO-AM GOLF TOURNAMENT, Aug. 20-24, 2009
In this tournament held at Tierra del Sol, professional and amateur golfers team up in a two-day, 36-hole tournament featuring gifts, prizes and special events. Golfers from countries such as the U.S., Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Holland participate in this tournament to showcase their skills on the golf course.
CARIBBEAN SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL, Sept. 4-5, 2009
Celebrating its third year, this outdoor festival promises a wonderful line-up featuring international and local musicians at Cas di Cultura. Headliners from past festivals were Michel Camilo, Praful and Randal Corsen, Ploctoons, Moonbaker, Cubop City Band and Paoli Mejias.
ULTIMATEBET.COM ARUBA POKER CLASSIC & BLACKJACK TOURNAMENT, Sept. 25-Oct. 30, 2009
This no limit Texas Hold'em poker tournament brings together players from all over the world to compete for millions of dollars. Prior celebrity participants have included Ben Affleck and Jennifer Tilly. The 2009 tournament is part of the ninth season of the World Poker Tour program, which airs on the Travel Channel and CBS. The tournament will take place at the Radisson Aruba Resort & Casino.
EIGTH ANNUAL ARUBA MUSIC FESTIVAL, Oct. 9-10, 2009
The concert series features established, international music stars and attracts visitors from all over the world every year. Headliners of past festivals included Pat Benatar, The Doobie Brothers, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Chicago, Jackson Browne, John Mayer, Peter Frampton, Queen, Styx, Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan.
ARUBA BEACH TENNIS INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, Nov. 6-8, 2009
Aruba is one of the first countries to host an international tournament in the new sport of beach tennis. International beach tennis pros come down to play, and a large number of amateurs participate as well. Competitions will be held at Moomba Beach.
19th ANNUAL ARUBA HEINEKEN CATAMARAN REGATTA, Nov. 6-13, 2009
Celebrating its 19th anniversary, this international catamaran regatta will decorate Aruba's turquoise waters with the colorful sails of catamarans from Europe. The event represents a great opportunity not only for experienced yacht racers and recreational sailors, but it's also a draw for non-sailing partners, children and friends who will be able to enjoy the event as a spectator while relaxing on the Aruba's white-sand beaches.
ARUBA INTERNATIONAL DART18 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, Nov. 14-21, 2009
For the first time, Dart18 catamarans will sail along Aruba's waters, drawing participants from all over the world. The races, organized in association with The International Dart Association, will be held in front of Palm Beach.
For more information on Aruba's 2009 events, please visit online at www.ARUBA.com