By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In one week, Rio will be in full swing of Carnival madness. This weekend presents the last opportunity to take part in the city’s pre-Carnival street parties, or blocos, with more than one hundred on offer at all hours across the city.
Drawing closer to Carnival, an even greater number of blocos will hit Rio de Janeiro’s streets over the next three days. Of the official blocos, there will be six tonight, Friday February 17th, but more than sixty on Saturday and another forty-six on Sunday.
From 5PM tonight, blocos will sweep through the Zona Sul (South Zone), Centro and Zona Norte (North Zone), with ‘Ih, É Carnaval!’ in Urca, ‘Badalo do Santa Teresa’ in Santa Teresa, ‘É Pequeno, mas vai Crescer’ and ‘Molha o Pé das Oito’ in Centro. Further north this evening, blocos ‘Alegria do Méier’ and ‘É o Bicho Folia’ will start from 6PM.
Saturday, February 18th’s blocos begin from 7AM, with ‘Céu na Terra’ in Santa Teresa at 7AM and several more starting from 8AM in Botafogo, Copacabana and Leblon, and others beginning in Centro, Zona Oeste (West Zone) and Zona Norte from 9AM.
The last official blocos of the day start at approximately 6PM, but many unofficial blocos have also been known to take to the street, starting later and continuing all night.
For early risers on Sunday, February 19th, or for those who continued through Saturday night, ‘Cordão do Boitatá’ kicks off the day at 7AM under the arches of Lapa.
Other blocos spread across the city are scheduled to start at every following hour of the day until 4PM, with several more taking place later in the evening. The weekend’s last official bloco will be ‘Coração das Meninas’, at 7PM in Centro.