By Marcelo Duailibe, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With Christmas here Sunday, it means New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and few places celebrate the coming of a new year with more enthusiasm then the Cidade Maravilhosa. The biggest draw is the famous Réveillon party on Copacabana Beach, but there are also plenty of other options to consider leading up to the last night of 2011.
Rio offers a bit of everything for Ano Novo (New Year), from posh and elegant gatherings to family fun and of course the spectacular Réveillon beach party with two million people dressing in white spraying champagne under fifteen minutes of jaw dropping fireworks.
For those intending to enjoy the view of the fireworks show at Copacabana Beach from a little distance, plus a have a once-in-a-lifetime experience of welcoming 2012 from above, an option is the Réveillon Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf New Year’s Eve). The party starts at 9PM and tickets are available from R$980 with drinks, a buffet dinner and breakfast included.
The ride on the cable car will take the party-goers to both Morro da Urca and the Sugar Loaf. The event will be hold by the Beija-Flor Samba School Drums (they also play at Copacabana Beach), Soul de Quem Quiser Band and four DJs.
The Jockey Clube da Gávea also offers a big event in on the other side of Zona Sul (South Zone), across the Lagoa. It is a great option for something traditional and familiar, but also fun. Kids are welcome as the club will have entertainers and youth staff to look after them. The party starts at 9PM with music by Monobloco Show, Groove Box band and DJs.
Two different options are available: Espaço Gávea ticket (men for R$290 / women for R$250), which includes dinner buffet, open bar; and Espaço Lagoa VIP ticket (R$380 for men / R$340 for women).
For some that are living on a budget and hoping to see the fireworks without the crowds, a few friends and refreshments brought to Aproador rocks might be just the right solution. From here the fireworks can be seen in the skyline, and it is easy to get in and out.
For those enticed by the crowd, Réveillon at Copacabana Beach is certainly the most famous, and also free. Every year, millions of Cariocas and tourists from all over the world come to watch the fireworks and music concerts. It is a good idea to arrive early, as it can get complicated to find a good spot after 10PM, and the party lasts until dawn.
The two main stages are set up for the night and will host attractions such as Beth Carvalho, O Rapa, Latino, the international DJ David Guetta (in front of the Copacabana Palace Hotel), Morais Moreia, Blitz band and the samba schools Beija-Flor e Unidos da Tijuca (by Rua Santa Clara).