Aruba’s 19th annual Balloon Parade enchanted youngsters of all ages

Courtesy of: The Morning News
By: Rosalie Klein

SAN NICOLAS — The first of Aruba’s Diamond Jubilee Carnival daytime parades took place this past Sunday, January 26, in San Nicolas: the always delightful Parada di Blaas, or Balloon Parade. The tens of thousands of artfully deployed balloons ensure it is always a colorful procession wending its way through the town’s quaint streets.

Add to that the charm of costumed kids of all ages, from babies to teens, and you have a winning island experience. Jolly Whiz Kids Carnival Group, which only appears in the parades for youngsters, topped the list of six groups with 500 participants, illustrating this year’s landmark anniversary with their theme “Shine Like a Diamond.” Little Groovers came in second with 300 children under their banner.

The costumes and floats of this casual, fun parade mirror the attitude of the annual Torch Parade, the very first of many such events over the carnival season. As the first day parade it is a relaxed but ebullient effort, a “warm-up” for the more formal and luxurious children’s parades to come.

This year, the efforts of Aruba’s Quota Club to be mindful of protecting hearing was observed by all, with earplugs provided for all young participants and offered to youthful spectators along the route. Similarly, Mediocosmetics agency sent out their “Sun Protection Patrol,” armed with cans of spray on Neutrogena sun block, to insure that little ones would sleep comfortably after a long afternoon under Aruba’s intense sun.
The entire day was an ideal mix of fun and adorable youthful antics, with a good time had by all. This coming Sunday, February 2, Oranjestad will host the Youth Parade, beginning at noon.