By Sibel Tinar, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As the world counts down to 2011, Rio is eagerly awaiting the world’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration at Copacabana beach, which once again promises to greet the new year in a massive, spectacular beach party that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime.
Réveillon 2011 (New Year’s Eve) will kick off what is labeled as the Década de Ouro (Golden Decade), and the celebrations will provide non-stop shows by famous performers on four different stages set along the entire beach, a pyrotechnic show, and the official launch of the 2016 Olympics logo.
Perhaps the largest draw is the jaw-dropping 20 minute fireworks show set to launch from eleven barges with 1,200 fireworks each.
Not only the neighborhood itself, but the whole city of Rio is being mobilized to accommodate this world-famous event at Copacabana. Rain or shine, 2,000,000 people are expected to fill up the four-kilometer stretch of sand and Avenida Atlântica by Copacabana’s coast, and to ensure safe and efficient transportation of such a massive crowd seems to be a top concern for the Prefeitura (local government).
In general, regular transit to Copacabana will not be possible starting late afternoon on December 31st, Avenida Atlântica will completely closed to traffic by 3PM, and Metrô Rio will have a special schedule and ticketing system in place.
Securing a seat on the Metro (subway) seems like the best option for those out of walking distance, however you must be certain of your arrival time. Special Réveillon tickets are for pre-determined hours of departure between 7PM and Midnight, and the tickets will only be valid for that one-hour period.
Making your way to Copacabana may prove to be a challenge for some, but the neighborhood aims to be prepared to accommodate about a quarter of the city’s population. Food and drinks will be sold at kiosks, stores, and the six Postos (Lifeguard Stations) along the Copacabana beach will have paid bathrooms available, although it is advisable to plan ahead for long lines.
These logistics aside, the attractions, shows, and the high level of energy will likely leave you in awe, and who doesn’t want to be part of one of the biggest parties on Earth to ring in 2011.
The complete list of the performances at Copacabana’s four stages are as follows:
Palco Beat 98 (The stage in Leme)
6:00PM – Grupo Toda Hora
7:30PM – Dj Brinquinho
8:00PM – Grupo Styllo X
9:20PM – DJ Daniel das Micaretas
10:45PM – Herbert Levy
12:20AM – Grupo Samba Pra gente
1:30AM – DJ Brinquinho
Palco Brasil (The main stage in front of Copacabana Palace Hotel)
5:45PM – DJ MAM
6:45PM – Show Alcione
8:15PM – Show Daniela Mercury
12:16AM – Show Zeca Pagodinho
2:00AM – Show Escola de Samba – Grande Rio
2:33AM – Show Escola de Samba – Unidos da Tijuca
Palco Santa Clara (The stage in front of Rua Santa Clara)
6:10PM – Show Oi Novo Som – Fino Coletivo
7:10PM – DJ Dodô Azevedo
8:20PM – Show Sandra de Sá
10:25PM – Show Cordão do Bola Preta
12:16AM – Show Cordão do Bola Preta
01:50AM – DJ residente
02:00AM – Show Escola de Samba – Beija Flor
02:33AM – Show Escola de Samba – Vila Isabel
Palco Oi FM (The stage in front of Rua Xavier da Silveira)
6:00PM – Dj Yuri Almeida
8:30PM DJ Mauricio Valadares
10:00PM – MC Marcelo Silva – Conexões Urbanas
10:25PM – DJ Maurício Valadares
12:16AM – Dj Marcelinho da Lua