Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays

On-island for Christmas and New Year's? Though there are no brisk temperatures and snowy days, the spirit of Christmas and the Holiday Season is just as strong. Beautifully decorated trees grace hotel lobbies; Christmas decorations adorn the streets; homes all over the island proudly display their Christmas lights. The distinctive aroma of freshly cut evergreen trees imported from Canada wafts through the air.

Also, every year, a twinkling, magical Christmas wonderland is recreated at Seroe Preto near San Nicolas. This is a special ode to the holiday season that is enjoyed by the entire family with a recreated manger, Christmas carols, spirits and snacks. For weeks preceding the holidays, the harmonious voices of Gaita groups of up to 20 singers and musicians fill the air with special melodies and lyrics, spreading good cheer and welcoming the season. Dande is a traditional celebration performed by a group of well-wishers who go door-to-door to sing of peace, happiness, goodwill and prosperity for the New Year. The chorus repeats the ai nobe (New Year) refrain in a lively melody played by guitar, accordion and local percussion instruments.
As the New Year approaches, there is a non-stop concerto of fireworks that has to be experienced to be believed. To bring good luck and get rid of any lingering bad karma, many local businesses each purchase a pagara, a long snake of fireworks that can cover many city blocks. Once lit, it creates a deafening chorus of "bangs," filling the air with smoke and leaving behind a red paper trail. Fireworks (clapchi) are sold all throughout the island. The skies are filled with thousands of fireworks, ranging from small sparklers and firecrackers to magnificent colorful displays accompanied by music, rivaling those of July 4th in the US.

DJ Tiesto In Aruba
December 26, 2009
7 pm – 3 am

The Village at Palm Beach and Chino Latino are celebrating their first anniversary at the Village Arena, with space for 3500 people, right across the street from the Radisson Aruba Resort. Touted as the most popular DJ in the world, DJ Tiesto is performing as part of his Kaleidosope World Tour. Since his last performance in Aruba in 2004, Tiesto opened the International Olympics, observed by billions of spectators. He has taken his concept of “Tiesto in Concert” all around the world. Tickets are on sale at Valero gas stations, Digicel, Bingo, Chino Latino, Senor Frog’s, Bula and Spare Time. General admission is $ 43.00. VIP tickets sell for $ 100.00.

The Nutcracker
Occidental Grand Hotel Ballroom
December 30 & January 2
8:00 pm

Fresh from his starring role in this year’s Tony Award winner for Best Musical, “Billy Elliot,” Kiril Kulish, who also won the Tony for Best Male Performer in a Broadway Musical, will appear on stage in Aruba. Cast members for this beloved holiday classic will include other members of Leonid Kozlov Dance International as well as 40 young dancers from Aruba’s Club di Movimiento. A full performance will take place on December 30, and excerpts from the program will be combined with a special solo program by Kiril Kulish on January 2. Advance ticket sales are available through the concierge desk of the Occidental Grand Resort (tel 586 4500 x 3999). Tickets are US $ 20.00 and are also sold at the parking cashier in Paseo Herencia Mall where there will be a free preview on December 27 at 8 pm. For more information and reservations, call (297) 593 6462 or visit

Ling & Sons will present its annual fireworks display on December 30, 2009 at 10 pm.

December 31, 2009

Ling & Sons : 3 pm
Super Food : 2 pm
Kong Hing : (time TBA)
Certified : 5-6 pm

Holiday Hours for Stores:
12/24/09 : 10 am - 7 pm
12/25/09 : Closed
12/26/09 : 5 pm - 10 pm
12/31/09 : 10 am - 5 pm
1/1/10 : 5 pm - 10 pm
Note: Restaurants will operate regularly

Shopping Nights
12/18 - 12/23 : 10 am - 11 pm
Note: Musical entertainment by Gaitas on main stage 7:40 pm – 9:30 pm

12/27/09 : 8:00 pm Premier of "The Nutcracker" (Please see above)
12/31/09 : Pagara show 2:00 pm, Musical entertainment 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm, Traditional Dande by Grupo di Betico
Nightly : Water shows at 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm*, 9:30 pm, 10:30 pm* (*Holiday water shows)

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