ORANJESTAD, Aruba -- Even with summer in full swing, it's never too early to look ahead to the start of autumn. Fall on the One happy island of Aruba marks the start of "Arubapalooza," the seasonal extravaganza encompassing countless cultural, culinary, music and fashion-oriented events and festivals. Known for perfect weather and powdery white beaches, Aruba is celebrated as one of the most revisited destinations in the Caribbean.
The cultural festivities fire up each Tuesday with the weekly Bonbini Festival, taking place in downtown Oranjestad in the outdoor courtyard of Fort Zoutman, Aruba's oldest building. Meaning "welcome" in Aruba's official language of Papiamento, "Bonbini" encourages visitors to sample the flavors, history, people, music and dance of the island during this spirited event.
Each Thursday from 6-10 p.m. in the town of San Nicolas, the multicultural charms of Aruba's "Sunrise City" are on display at the lively Carubbian Festival. Visitors stroll through the streets while vendors sell crafts, souvenirs and delicious Aruban and Caribbean street food. The main event is a dazzling parade up and down the main street of San Nicolas.
Arubapalooza is in full swing this fall and winter with countless events like the 2nd Annual Electric Festival, featuring 23 of the world's biggest DJs in music from techno to electro from September 3-7, while more traditional music fans will enjoy the 8th Annual Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival from October 3-4.
Home to more than 90 nationalities on island, Aruba is at the epicenter of a cultural melting pot, offering Amerindian, Latin and European influences found in every aspect of life – especially in the flavor-rich cuisine served at more than 200 restaurants.
Those who wish to explore the flavors of the One happy island can do so with events like the third annual Battle of the Food Trucks -- a showdown of tasty proportions -- taking place October 24-25. This family-friendly event combines Aruba's food truck culture and live musical performances from local bands and DJs to produce an epic bash with an island twist.
Active visitors can get into the swing of things with Beach Tennis Aruba's 2014 Championship tournament, taking place November 17-23. Aruba's favorite sport is enjoyable for amateurs and professionals alike, and combines elements taken from beach volleyball, tennis, badminton and table tennis to create the unique and fast-paced national pastime.