The Carnival in Rio is a weeklong festival that attracts tourists from all over the globe. For the millions who cannot make it to the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’, television cameras beam the event live throughout the world. The highlights of the Carnival in Rio are the samba parades with costume samba dancers swaying to the mesmerizing beats of the samba drums, charming their way through the crowds as they beckon everyone to join in the revelry. All eyes are on the Sambodromo during the Carnival in Rio, where a dozen samba schools put up a magnificent display of music and dance in a bid to become the top samba school of the year. The best way to experience the true spirit of the Carnival in Rio is to join the thousands of cariocas at the Sambodromo.
Every samba school consists of thousands of people including artisans, craftsmen, musicians, and samba dancers, seamstresses that create some of the most colorful and exotic samba costumes, choreographers, and many others. Each member has a specific role in the preparations for the event that continues throughout the year for the Carnival in Rio. Those incredible floats and costumes for the sensuous samba dancers are the result of all the efforts of these thousands of people that make up the samba school. It isn’t hard to experience the spirit of camaraderie and true Brazilian culture as the schools go about expressing it through samba music and dance.
The Sambodromo is the epicenter of celebrations during the Carnival in Rio. The samba schools have one chance to prove their mettle and claim the top spot at the samba parade in front of a panel of 40 judges. The Sambodromo at Marquês de Sapucaí Avenue consists of concrete structures with various types of seating on either side of the samba runway. Designed by the famous architect Oscar Niemeyer, the stadium has been given a facelift in time for the 2017 Carnival in Rio with enough space for up to 80,000 spectators. The Sambodromo is sectioned into sectors with specific types of seating areas that include allocated chairs at runaway lever, grandstand seating, open boxes or frisas, and luxury suites or camarotes, which are the most costly seats in the venue.
The Carnival in Rio is a time when the entire city turns into one big party zone. While the Sambodromo is where the competition takes place, a huge part of the celebrations are the Carnival balls like the Magic Ball at the Copacabana Palace Hotel where celebrities from all over the world come to party hard and join in the celebrations. A series of popular Carnival balls are held at the Scala Rio Nightclub in downtown Rio, where the Red and Black Ball and Gay Ball are two of the prestigious events that have members from the alternate society out in great numbers. The celebrations continue on the streets where blocos or block parties are held at almost every street corner. This is where you get to enjoy partying with the locals who welcome everyone to join in free.
For a week during the Carnival in Rio tourists have the opportunity to experience local carioca culture at its best. The Brazilians take the meaning of celebrations several steps further during this festival of non-stop music, dance, drink, and revelry of the highest order. The kids have a great time too. Don’t miss the Children’s samba parade at the Sambodromo on the day when King Momo signals the start of the Carnival in Rio. Millions take to the streets while Rio’s alternative society also grabs the opportunity to host their own shows. Everyone is invited, straight or gay, black or white, rich or poor. Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a party for all. And fun like living itself should be every day of the year.