I just wanted to inform the viewing public that things are escalating quickly here, and if this is only foreplay, than the climax is going to be explosive!
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro doesn’t officially begin for another ten days, yet the city is already engulfed in festa (party).
Samba schools like Vila Isabel continue to practice for the big parade at Sambadromo on March 3rd and over the last few weeks they’ve also taken to the streets to prepare for the party that is Carnival – by partying of course.
The outdoor celebrations are called blocos (street bands) and they form a slow moving parade that stretches down main avenues and side streets for miles at a time.
In 2013, a record 492 bloco licenses were granted by city council. That’s 492 individual street parties that have no problem attracting thousands of people.
Picture your neighborhood block party. Now add a marching band (but much cooler), a thousand more people, tropical weather, Halloween costumes and an abundance of alcohol (no open container laws) all moving down the street like a protest against sanity.
While the band and core members are set and marked with custom tees, blocos are free and open to the public. Many people go from one festa to the next drinking and celebrating across neighborhoods.
It just so happened that I woke up Saturday morning to my first bloco experience already in full swing right outside my building.
After a late night of dancing and sweating with Monobloco in Lapa (above), I showered off, grabbed a dry shirt, some leftover vodka and joined my roommates downstairs for a nice midday stroll of debauchery.
We spent the day dancing in the streets, meeting new people watching all the chaos.
It reminded me of an out of control, Latin version of Bay to Breakers in San Francisco.
The only difference is, this is happening all over the city and it’s only the pre party.
Here’s some photos from my first bloco this past weekend so you can see for yourself…
See photos from other blocos around the city.
Here is a list of the upcoming blocos can be found here, look at all these parties!