Tag Archive: 2012 Carnaval

Rio Street Carnaval 2012

Play comes easy to the carioca and there’s been no better example of this than the rapid rise of the Street Carnival to a level rivaling any Carnaval anywhere. Rio de Janeiro had already achieved the exalted pinnacle of every other Carnaval saying they were the second best but this had been a tribute the the twelve special samba schools and the greatest annual spectacle presented in the samba stadium known as the Sambodromo. Yet this parade came from the streets where the lesser leagues still parades.

The street Carnival since 2010 has been more closely regulated and continues to grow at a spectacular level since it began to be promoted by the city at the dawn of the 21st century. Previous common wisdom had cariocas leaving town for Salvador’s Carnaval because they wanted to experience the flow and vibe of the high energy streets. Presently the City is happy with the present   level of  450 bands and wants to manage the growing  audience of over 3 million people without adding to the chaos further with new bands and new routes

There’s been many different elements in the overall success.  Resurrecting the old marchinhas standards by some blocos  along with other groups dedicated to some other distinct Carnaval   rhythms and styles distinct, as maracatu, frevo, maxixe  and electronic music while ther groups promote their costumes. The groups are still neighborhood based picking 1 to 3 days for their parades preceded by an even longer period of contrating in place before setting off.

The City get much credit for managing a phenonenon which taxes its resources requiring much planning, rerouting and overtime. At most gatherings there is a strong managed presence of many resources from traffic, police, sanitation and an ever  growing number of public port-a-potties.  [reported to be triple the number in 2011] Quite a contrast to most cities where it is not uncommon for a parade to fade because it cannot afford the permit and insurance costs for a labor of love that hardy ever recovers its costs.

The City administration shows it knows how to handle large international crowds at all these street Carnaval with smooth policing, traffic control, organization of street vendors, availability of chemical toilets, medical care on call and street cleaning, aiming to give flow needs of this growing audience.

Not everyone is happy. Many residents wish the street Carnaval would go away and others were not able to add their group to the list of 450 who will parade during the 2012 Carnaval season. Sponsorship is increasing particularly from AmBev and Rede Globo,  Sebastiana – an independent association that brings together 12 blocos from the Zona Sul, Santa Teresa and centro – which has existed for a decade is now 10 years old and more recently there is the Folia Carioca, a league that represents nearly 20 city blocos and bandas who want to work on improving the condition of the street carnival.

The business of making joy contagious for Carnaval is continuing to evolve with a newer generation and new ides  In 2012 a group plans to award the  ”Golden Bloco”, to recognize the best of street revelry.

This is all in addition to the many of other healthy parts of the Rio de Janeiro Carnaval which had already put it in a league of its own.

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