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By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Saturday, February 14th, millions of party-goers joined over two dozen blocos parading down Rio de Janeiro streets as part of the ongoing free parties known as Carnaval da Rua (Street Carnival). During the morning, an estimated one million revelers attended the Bloco Cordão da Bola Preta parade in Centro (Downtown).

Bloco da Preta Gil in Rio's Centro, Carnival, carnaval, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Bloco da Preta Gil in Rio’s Centro is one of the largest Carnival blocos each year, photo by Fernando Maia/Riotur.

Many attendees dressed in black and white polka dots to accompany the bloco, one of the oldest traditional blocos in the city, as it marched with a theme celebrating the 450th anniversary of Rio.

Bloco Cordão da Bola Preta is well known for including celebrities in their procession and this year they were led by their appointed muse, actress Leandra Leal. “It is one of the happiest days of my year. Being here for me is an accomplishment,” Leal O Globo. “Rio has a vocation that must be respected: we know how to party.”

Attendees showed they knew how to party also during the morning in Lapa as the bloco Multibloco paraded celebrating “Tropicalismo”; during the afternoon with the Mulheres do Zeca as they paraded singing classic works by Zeca Pagodinho; and in the evening when popular bloco Banda de Ipanema finished out the day.

The party continues on Sunday, February 15th with over one hundred blocos scheduled to parade throughout the city. Notable processions include the Michael Jackson themed bloco Thriller Eletrico which will meet at Pça. Barão de Drummond in Vila Isabel to parade at 10AM and the bloco Bangalafumenga, which will parade from the Aterro do Flamengo beginning at 10AM.

Traditional bloco, Cordão Do Boitatá will also parade in Centro at 9AM and Que Merda É Essa? will parade in Ipanema beginning at 5PM. The bloco Simpatia É Quase Amor will also parade in Ipanema at 4PM. For a full list of today’s and future bloco parade schedules, see O Globo’s interactive map as well as their mobile app. It is important to note that some of the times and locations are subject to change and that parade cancellations can occur.

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