By Nicole Froio, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The blocos (street samba parties) are a main attraction during Carnival season in Rio de Janeiro, but they can leave behind incredible amounts of dirt, trash and carnage. Every year, there is one particular victim that suffers after a bloco finished its festivities; the flowerbeds in Ipanema.
In their inebriated, fun-filled stupor the party-goers forget (or don’t know) that the flowerbeds are nurtured and looked after by residents and public attendants all year long. As a result the plants are usually stomped on and destroyed, not to mention turned into trash bins and toilets.
This year, the Rio government is surrounding the flower beds next to the buildings on Avenida Vieira Souto (Vieira Souto Avenue). However, the main twenty little gardens spotting the median along the beach-side roadway have been left without any protection.
Riotur has promised they will be put behind protecting fences by 5:30 PM today, before the Banda de Ipanema performance. Until last night, nothing had been done to achieve this goal.
Residents are worried about the main beds in Ipanema with reason, as they only just restored them to health since last year’s Carnival. Efforts to save the plants were made by the Rio government and the car dealership Serttel/Samba, in partnership with Itaú Unibanco.
Jaime Monjardim, president of the Comercial Association of Ipanema and Leblon, told O Globo he thinks the plants get a death sentence every year because of Carnival.
He said: “Last year, after the blocos went by, eighty percent of the flower beds were destroyed. We made great efforts to restore them. Now, the city council is letting forty blocos perform here. Even with the fences, we can’t contain this many people.”
Read more (in Portuguese).
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