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Drag Racing in Curaçao

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Drag racing is a phenomenon across the Caribbean, and Curaçao is no exception. When the races are on, hundreds of people cram into the stands to watch tuned-up cars and tricked-out motorcycles squeal down the track. Our last Sunday on the island coincided with the first day of the season, so we decided to check it out.

Drag Racing Curacao

Jürgen and I are not exactly racing fans. In fact, until now, the only “Drag Race” I had been familiar with was the one hosted by RuPaul. I had never attended any sort of motorsports event, whether NASCAR, Formula 1, or Motocross, and never felt like I was missing out. But for whatever reason, I was excited to see the Curaçao drag races on Sunday night. Who knew? Maybe RuPaul would be there!

We showed up, expecting to see some sweet cars, gleaming and polished, perhaps sporting racing stripes and definitely with huge spoilers and other crazy custom modifications. So, when a little Volkswagen Polo pulled up to the starting line, I was confused. “Surely, it’s just the test car,” I reasoned. But no, this was one of the racers, and much of its competition was in a similar category. These were the types of cars I frequently overtake on the way to the supermarket… in fact, I’m pretty sure that they were those cars!

Drag Racing Curacao

So, I had to adjust my expectations for the day, especially after watching a Vespa “blaze” down the track and shatter exactly zero world speed records. But there was something cool about the fact that seemingly anyone could race with any kind of vehicle. And as the day went along, the cooler cars started to show up; the kinds you’d expect to see at a Caribbean drag race. They’d rev their engines before starting, producing billows of smoke while waiting for the green light, then peel down the track, racing two at a time.

Even better than the cars were the motorcycles, many of which were tricked-out and extremely cool. The guys (and a girl) who drive them are insane! I don’t know how many times my heart jumped, watching them nearly lose control after blasting off down the track. We didn’t see any wipeouts, but they must happen frequently.

Drag Racing Curacao

The races started at four in the afternoon, but the crowds didn’t start showing up until about six. The racing strip is on an elevated plain, and there’s a nice view, especially when the sun starts to go down. Considering that this was a relatively unimportant race day, we were surprised by the number of spectators. Later during the season, for the bigger events, the stands can be packed to capacity.

If you’re a fan of racing, check out the Speedway’s website, where you’ll find a calendar of upcoming events. It makes for an entertaining Sunday evening, and provides a reminder that Curaçao isn’t just about tranquil beaches and nature… they like their action, too.

Location of the Track
Curaçao International Speedway – Website

Rent A Car In Curacao

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March 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm Comments (0)

Curaçao Carnival’s Grand Parade

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Events related to Curaçao’s Carnival, such as the Tumba and the Horse Parade, had been taking place throughout the months of January and February. And they were all leading up to the Grand Parade: a long procession of music, costumes, drinking and dancing, and a celebration of pure joy.

Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"

The parade gets started at 10am, and doesn’t end until well after the sun has gone down. Luckily, spectators are under no obligation to show up on time. It begins in the northern neighborhood of Santa Maria in the morning hours, but doesn’t reach the heart of Otrobanda until around 5pm. And by then, after seven consecutive hours of partying, the guys and girls marching in the parade are in great spirits.

We showed up on Breedestraat at around 4:30pm, just before the first groups arrived. The harlequin costumes and make-up worn by the participants are wildly colorful, and every group decides upon a different theme: casinos, boats, and India were some of this year’s. Most of the groups march with two big trucks; one to carry the DJ or tumba-playing band, the other to carry liquor.

Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"

Imagine a military procession, with rigid rows and columns of stern-faced men and women marching in perfect synchronization. Carnival’s parade is exactly the opposite of that. There is no order here, no discipline. These crazy harlequins are having the best time imaginable, drinking, shaking their butts, posing for pictures, and running over into the crowd to greet friends. And it’s impossible to watch without being infected by the Carnival fever. Multiple times, I caught myself unconsciously dancing to the Tumba beats … I might have even tried shaking my booty.

We followed the parade all the way to Brionsplein, where we grabbed seats under a statue and had almost as much fun watching the spectators as the parade itself. Carnival is an island-wide party, and we didn’t see an unhappy face the whole evening. Of course, there might be plenty of unhappy faces the next morning, when all of Curaçao wakes up with one massive hangover. But we could worry about that tomorrow… for now, let’s dance!

Caribbean Carnival Costumes

Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
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Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
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Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
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Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
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Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
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Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
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Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
Grand Carnival Parade "Gran Marcha"
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February 8, 2016 at 8:19 pm Comments (0)
Drag Racing in Curaao Drag racing is a phenomenon across the Caribbean, and Curaçao is no exception. When the races are on, hundreds of people cram into the stands to watch tuned-up cars and tricked-out motorcycles squeal down the track. Our last Sunday on the island coincided with the first day of the season, so we decided to check it out.
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