By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio’s famous Lagoa Christmas tree was officially opened last night in spectacular style, accompanied by fireworks, concerts and ballet shows. The enormous structure sits in the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone). The 2011 lighting of the Lagoa Christmas Tree in Rio, photo by Rogerio Santana/Imprensa RJ. The theme for this year’s tree, sponsored by Bradesco Seguros, is “A Present for the Brazilian Family”, and has some impressive specs: It stands 279ft (85m) tall, weighs 542 tonnes, and has 3.3 million bulbs and 65 miles (105km) of tube lights, all of which is mounted on a floating base of some 8,719 sq ft (810m²), according to its website. Crowds were treated to performances by famous singers Gal Costa and Frejat and the Barra Mansa Symphonic Orchestra, and although the event only opened to the public at 6PM in the evening, people had started taking their places from earlier in the afternoon. A number of illegal vendors who were hoping to cash in on the crowds have been caught out by police, it was reported, with many vehicles fined or towed away. Many consider the event – which first started in 1996 and is now in its sixteenth reincarnation – the start of the festive season in the Cidade Maravilhosa, and sits in third place in terms of events in the city after Carnaval and New Year’s. Read more (in Portuguese). * The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens. 5 Responses to "The Lighting of Lagoa Christmas Tree: Daily" Pingback: Rio de Janeiro | distill LIGHTS | distill LIGHTS Pingback: Christmas in Rio de Janeiro in 2011 | The Rio Times | Brazil News Pingback: Holiday Rentals in Rio: Ipanema, Leblon and Lagoa | The Rio Times | Brazil News Pingback: Spending 2012 Christmas in Rio de Janeiro | The Rio Times | Brazil News Pingback: The Lighting of 2012 Lagoa Christmas Tree: Daily Update | The Rio Times | Brazil News Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.