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By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This weekend, the island of Paquetá hosts the second edition of “Festival da Guanabara” (Guanabara Festival), aimed at gathering culture and socio-environmental debates. Bringing free attractions like music shows and story-telling, this year’s edition is set to draw big crowds to this little oasis.

Rio News, Brazil News, paquetá, festival
The carnaval celebration is one of the most traditional parties in Paquetá, accessible by a R$5,90 ferry boat trip, photo internet recreation.

The activities start on Friday, July 14th, with a “Literary Dinner” by chef Vander Borges at 8PM, followed by a recital run by poet Christiana Nóvoa, and the opening of an exhibition of Brazilian handcrafted dolls, at the venue Espaço do Sol.

On Saturday, July 15th, the activities start at Bom Jesus Square at 10AM, with a debate on the Paquetá‘s environmental issues, followed by the play “Diversos São Quixotes”, by group Trupe Diversos, at 1PM. At 2:30 PM, singer Ana Decker presents the show “Canto Para Americano: Let’s go, Bananas!” (Song for the American: Let’s go, Bananas!).

“This is a festival-manifest based on the concepts of cultural citizenship and the right to the city. The streets, the squares and the beaches are our free stages. The best way to address today’s violence is the action. And, through the festival, we are complaining by doing something”, affirms Flávio Aniceto, the festival’s general coordinator.

Saturday afternoon a reading circle dedicated to Brazilian writer Carolina de Jesus will happen at 1PM, and a story-telling session for children at 4PM, both at Casa Flor. A stall with indigenous handcrafts for sale will be at the venue from 10AM to 5PM. From 3PM to 10PM, a great Festa Junina party will take place at the Bom Jesus da Morte Church.

On Sunday, July 16th, a discussion on basic sanitation issues takes place at Casa Flor, at 10AM, followed by the round table “Culture, City and Heritage”, at 1:30 PM. Singer André Henriques plays Afro Brazilian and MPB music at 2:30 PM, at the Bom Jesus Square. Duo Sexto presents a bossa nova, rock and blues show at 4PM at the same venue. Closing the event will be a party at 7:30 PM, run by DJ HanDon at Casa Flor.

Only fifty minutes away from Rio, the “Love Island” is famous for its Carnival and Festa Junina parties. It is one of the favorite tours for both Cariocas and expatriates.

“Easy to get to, Paquetá allows us to escape from the hectic and rough routine we have in Rio. And it offers high level cultural events with very good prices. If you are looking for a good time, what else could you ask for?,” says Silvia Barbosa, Portuguese professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, resident since 2013.

What: Festival da Guanabara
When: This weekend, July 14th to July 16th – 10AM to 11PM
Where: Paquetá Island – check the participant venues on the Festival’s official website.
Entrance: FREE for most attractions. Check venue to see details.

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