By Fiona Hurrell, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The samba schools have now completed their parades at the Sambódromo and as the competition results are tallied, many in the city start to practice Lent. Yet in Rio the atmosphere is still electric with another wave of blocos still to be enjoyed, and here is a short summary of the best still to come.
Serjão Loroza & Us Madureira – Fresh from playing at the Sambódromo only a few days ago, bands from some of Rio’s most prestigious samba schools, Beija Flor, Unidos da Tijuca and Portela will add to the rhythm of this Centro bloco. The music ranges from Samba to funk so expect something for everyone. Anyone wishing to attend should gather at Centro’s Rua do Teatro on Wednesday, February 13th, at 11AM. The bloco is stationary and continues until 3PM.
Mulheres de Chico on Leme beach this year is well worth a visit. The bloco features songs by Chico Buarque and are performed by a group of females who regularly host gigs in concert halls and cultural centers of Rio. Style and charm are the main ingredients of the party which is considered relaxed and pleasant, attracting people of all ages. The bloco takes place on Saturday, February 16th, from 5PM until 9PM.
Bafafá in Ipanema from 5PM – 9PM is a great bloco to start winding down with. Not only is it a regular feature during the Saturday after Carnival (February 16th), it also takes place on the beach at Posto 9 just as the sun is beginning to set, providing a beautiful atmosphere to party to. Expect some great samba tunes and a lot of die hard bloco enthusiasts keen to make the most of the final days of Carnival.
Ai, Que Vergonha also on Saturday, February 16th takes place in São Conrado starting on the beach front and eventually dispersing outside samba school Acadêmicos da Rocinha. Due to its close proximity to one of the Access Group’s most creative samba schools, one can expect to see some great dancing accompanying the lively music. The procession starts at 7PM until 10PM.
Boka de Espuma in Boatafogo has been around for 26 years and is especially popular with those in search of traditional samba. Very often the bloco is accompanied by a barbeque providing welcome refreshments to revelers. The bloco begins on Sunday, February 17th at 4PM from Rua Marques de Olinda and travels down a sequence of streets before finally linking back to its original location at 8PM.
Fofoqueiros de Plantão, also on Sunday, February 17th, roughly translates to ‘gossips on duty’ and is a friendly bloco that is known for a fun but safe atmosphere therefore perfect for anyone who would prefer something a little more reserved. Formed by a group of a hundred residents, the bloco starts at Rua Pacheco Leão at 11AM, traveling down Rua von Martius until Rua Joaquim Campos Porto in Jardim Botanico at 3PM.
Caldo Beleza on Sunday 17th from 4PM until 8PM takes place at the Praça Marinha do Brasil in Flamengo. Expect fantastic samba music and dancers while the presence of flag bearers makes this bloco seem more like a performance at the Sambódromo. It will most probably be a mixed gathering that is especially popular with samba enthusiasts and a great bloco to end Carnival with.