Starting tomorrow: Aruba’s Caiso and Soca Monarch at the new Carnival Village in San Nicolas

Courtesy of: The Morning News

SAN NICOLAS — Aruba is gearing up for the most important musical event on their annual calendar: the Caiso and Soca Monarch contest, beginning with three nights of pre-finals tomorrow. Organizers and the head of the Foundation Musica, Hildward Croes, welcomed media to observe the fantastic set up in the newly completed Carnival Village in San Nicolas, where the event will take place.

A large patch of land formally behind the walls of the refinery was reclaimed last year and converted into a park and amphitheater area, particularly targeted at hosting carnival events in San Nicolas, but available to the community throughout the year.

The contest, traditionally known as the Calypso and Roadmarch, will result in the Roadmarch King or Queen, and the song that will become the anthem for the remaining carnival parades. Calypso is a musical form focusing on political and social commentary in its lyrics, often humorous, but always timely and with a significant message.

The organizers of this year’s event report record participation, with 138 original musical compositions registered to be performed. 28 bands have inscribed to perform over the three nights of the pre-finals, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, February 11, 12 and 13. Many will be backing up more than one singing performance. On Tuesday, there will be 52 vocal performances, with some singers competing for both titles with two completely different compositions.

Wednesday, 44 performances will take place, with carnival icon, the multi-crowned Claudius Phillips, “Mighty Talent,” again throwing his hat in the ring, and his son, “Mighty Talent Jr.” last year’s winner, finishing up the evening.

The final night of pre-finals will feature 43 performances. The selected bands and songs will do on to the Caisa and Soca Monarch Finals at the Carnival Village on Saturday, evening, February 15. Hildward Croes confirmed by will be following the example of this year’s Tumba Contest, by having the finalists draw their place in the line-up immediately prior to the commencement of the final event.

Representatives of the major sponsors of this year’s contest, Aruba Tourism Authority, Insel Air, and SETAR N.V. were on hand to wish great success to all competing, and a safe and congenial carnival to all those attending.

Tickets for the pre-finals are 20 Arubian florins and tickets for the final event are 45 Arubian florins. Tickets are being sold at all LOTTO outlets across Aruba, this is over 120 locations. Reasonably prices parking has been arranged with several venues within easy walking distance of the Carnival Village, including the Abraham De Veer School in San Nicolas.