Courtesy of: The Morning News
By: Rosalie Klein
Aruba's Minister of Economic & Social Affairs and Culture, Michelle Hooyboer Winklaar, was joined by members of the National Day planning committee in announcing that three spectacular days of events are planned for this year's observance of Aruba's most important national holiday. March 18 falls on a Monday, allowing for a three-day weekend, and events will take place all weekend long. This year, it has been decided to dub the entire month, "National Month," with various community centers conducting events prior to the actual day, and after.
Homage to "Himno y Bandera" Day, "Anthem & Flag" Day, will begin on Saturday, March 16 with a solemn ceremony at the March 18 Memorial on Irausquin Boulevard, across from Wilhelmina Park. Here the Prime Minister and dignitaries will honor those who originally signed the petition for Aruban autonomy, and those brave statesmen who founded the movement.
Sunday, March 17 will mark the official opening of the Aruba Linear Park at the Plaza Turismo across from Talk of the Town Resort. The entire day the plaza will be filled with booths and shows from various groups. Crafts paying homage to Aruba's flag, snacks, and refreshments will be on sale throughout the day.
In the evening, the festivities to move to the traditional location of the Plaza G.F. Betico Croes behind the Cas di Cultura. The annual cultural/patriotic show will be conducted in the band shell, with a particularly spectacular array of the islands most distinguished performers.
On Monday, March 18, the official protocol ceremony, with placing of memorial wreaths, will take place in the morning, followed by a day filled with activities within the various barrios, conducted by their community centers.
The organizing committee invite all island residents and visitors to join them for these entertaining programs. They also request all groups wishing to conduct celebratory events or participate in those taking place on the March 17 to please contact the Department of Culture to register their events for promotion in the program.