By Davi Baldussi, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – When the clock strikes midnight on the last day of 2009 most of the cities around Brazil, and the world, will start their traditional firework exhibition. Some of the best in Brazil are found in it’s biggest and well traveled cities; São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Florianópolis.
In Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana beach is one of Brazil’s most famous and popular places to be during Ano Novo (New Year’s Eve). In 2008, it is reported that 600,000 tourists came to Rio to see the fireworks lighting up the sky above the sea, and this year some predict two million spectators.
Nine rafts will be positioned at a safe distance from the beach launching fireworks for over fifteen minutes. Four stages in the beach will present no less than 24 different musical groups, with such acts as; Paralamas do Sucesso, Blitz, Lulu Santos and Ed Motta.
The artistic director of the event is Scott Givens, President of FiveCurrents, a creative and production firm that produces stadium spectacles, broadcasts and other live events. The fireworks and music intend to convey nine messages: renovation, prosperity, peace, happiness, friends, family, love, Brazil and future. The 2016 Olympics, which Rio will be home of, will be represented in “future”.
São Paulo, the biggest city in Latin America isn’t renowned as a great attraction for tourists during New Years Eve. Most of the two million people expected to be present will be Paulistas (people from São Paulo.) The festivity planned for the thirteen consecutive year on Paulista Avenue will cost R$5.5 million. There will be 15 minutes of fireworks blazing in the air and many musical appearances from famous national groups taking place on a 800m² stage.
In Salvador, which according the Ministry of Tourism, the Nordeste (Northeast) coast of Brazil is the region most frequented by foreign visitors, 37.4 percent of travelers. The state of Bahia, whose capital is Salvador, is the major state of that region. One third of the tourists who travel to Northeast, go to Bahia.
During new years this number is expected to increase. Farol da Barra, in Salvador, is the place in the state where the biggest celebration of New Years Eve takes place. Officials anticipate that as many as 500,000 people will attend.
last-but-not-least is Florianópolis, a city in the southern state of Santa Catarina is known for its beautiful beaches that this season has already been visited by more than 175,000 foreign travelers. Its New Year’s Eve party takes place on Beira Mar Avenue, and should gather more than 600,000 persons.
Florianópolis will probably have one of the longest fireworks exhibition in Brazil. The colorful lights are planned to adorn the sky for sixteen minutes. For this year the city had planned a special show with Andrea Bocelli, but last week the show was canceled because organizers couldn’t build a the stage or complete the sound specifications in time for the Italian tenor perform.