Carnival in Rio
In Rio the party begins even before Carnival officially begins. Don’t miss out on all the exciting pre-activities such as the dance rehearsals and street parades that happen in anticipation for the real Carnival. If you want to fully participate in the Pre-Carnival activities join up with a banda as they play music in the many street processions. Carnival is such a huge event in Brazil that dancers and musicians rehearse months in advance. Samba Schools prepare for the huge parade that takes place in the Sambadrome during the festival. Samba schools are an association of people from the same neighborhood, usually from a suburban area. They get together regularly for samba nights and rehearsals (ensaios) at their samba court (quadra). Samba schools contribute anywhere from 6 to 8 floats in pre-Carnival and Carnival festivities. All costumes and floats are hand-made and are based on a different theme every year. Often called a tropical opera, the event in the Sambadrome is very exciting and something you’ll never forget.
Saturday (14 days before Carnival): the famous Banda de Ipanema performs in the street at Rua Jangadeiros. At 4 pm arrive at Praca General Osorio, just two blocks from Ipanema beach, and see a colorful and flamboyant parade of drag queens. Rio’s most revered street band was founded in 1965, when Brazil had just gone under military dictatorship. The band is now a legendary highlight of Carnival.
Saturday (14 days before Carnival): Banda Simpatia e Quase Amor- this 50-piece percussion street band is part of parade that attracts over 10,000 people. The band members are made up of journalists, so their themes are often of political. Carnival in Rio is truly a once in a lifetime experience. The excitement for the event is felt all year as spectators, dancers and musicians prepare for the huge celebration. You’ll be sure to find the heart of Brazil at the most famous party in the world: Carnival in Rio.
You can find more information about Carnival in Rio here: http://www.braziltravelinformation.com/brazil_carnival.htm