Arts & Entertainment

Streets of Rio fill with revelers ahead of Carnival

By Maria Angelica Troncoso

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 11 (EFE).- Though the official start of Carnival is nearly a week away, thousands of Rio de Janeiro residents poured into the streets Saturday to join the rolling parties, known as “blocos,” that many see as the most authentic expression of the city’s famous pre-Lenten bacchanal.

After two years without blocos due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the street revels are back with a vengeance.

Some 80 bands and dance troupes with sound trucks will perform at various spots in the “Marvelous City” over the course of the weekend.

At 7:30 am Saturday, thousands of Cariocas (Rio residents) and tourists were following the venerable Ceu na terra (Heaven on Earth) troupe past flower-draped homes down the cobblestone streets of the bohemian hillside neighborhood of Santa Teresa.

“Now that the street party returned we’re going to do everything that was denied to us in the last two years,” 28-year-old Rafael Madalosso told EFE.

Many revelers said they hoped the party never ends.

“I’m going to stay this way until the end and were going to continue until … until next year’s Carnival,” a young woman named Isabela said.

The procession in Santa Teresa was led by a replica of the yellow streetcar that area residents ride daily and included people walking on stilts, giant puppets and scantily clad women sporting elaborate floral headdresses.

Between now and the official end of Carnival on Feb. 26, more than 400 bands and troupes are expected to draw crowds in excess of 5 million. EFE jq-mat/dr

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