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By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Founded on March 1, 1565, the city of Rio de Janeiro is celebrating its 450th anniversary this year with over 200 events ranging from concerts to openings to activities including marathons, installations and more taking place throughout the city. With this weekend marking the official anniversary on Sunday, March 1st, the celebrations are getting a boost.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News, Brazil, Rio 450, 450th Anniversary of Rio de Janeiro, Celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Events in Rio de Janeiro
Brazilian MPB singer-songwriter Vanessa da Mata will perform live at the city’s birthday concert on February 28th, photo by George Vale/Flickr Creative Commons License..

First before March begins, on the eve of the anniversary, there will be a very special birthday concert event on Saturday, February 28th. Held in the North Zone park, Quinta da Boa Vista, the event, which is free to the public, will feature twenty bands and artists performing songs that celebrate the city through musical styles ranging from bossa nova to MPB to samba to hip-hop to rock.

Performing live will be some of the biggest names in Brazilian music today. The lineup features: Ana Carolina, Arlindo Cruz, Baby do Brasil, Caetano Veloso, Diogo Nogueira, Erasmo Carlos, Fernanda Abreu, Gilberto Gil, Jorge Benjor, Marcelo D2, Martinho da Vila, Max de Castro, Neguinho of Beija-Flor (the 2015 Carnival champion school), Paralamas do Sucesso, Paulinho da Viola, Roberto Frejat, Simoninha, Toni Garrido, Vanessa da Mata and Zeca Pagodinho.

To start off the anniversary on Sunday March 1st, the Sociedade dos Amigos da Rua da Carioca (Society of Friends of Carioca Street) will present a 450 meter cake in celebration of the city’s birthday at 10AM on Rua da Carioca in Centro. Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes will cut the cake and distribute it to the public at 10:30 AM and the Orquestra Bianchini will follow with a performance at 1PM.

Also on Sunday the official inauguration of the Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow) located in Rio’s Zona Portuária (Port Zone) is scheduled to take place. Also in the Port Zone, mayor Paes will inaugurate the Túnel Rio450 (Rio450 tunnel), a tunnel connecting the area with the Gamboa neighborhood. The ceremony, which will be closed to the public, is scheduled for 4PM.

During the month of March, many additional events will take place throughout the city, as over seventy happenings are scheduled. On the 18th, the RioZoo, located in the neighborhood of São Cristovão in the North Zone, will begin a four-day celebration of its 70th anniversary.

The Ministry of Culture and Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes launching the Rio450 comittee, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
The Ministry of Culture and Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes launching the Rio450 comittee, a ceremony that marked the beginning of the year-long celebrations, photo courtesy of Rio 450.

As part of Rio450, several athletic events, including marathons, will be held in March. The Corrida 450 with 5 and 10 km courses will take place on March 13th in Zona Sul (South Zone) and Tijuca, and the Circuito Light Rio Antigo 450, also with 5 and 10 km courses, will take place on March 15th in Centro. Additionally, the Circuito Barra Run will be held on March 29th in the West Zone neighborhoods of Barra da Tijuca and Jacarepaguá.

Free walking tours of the city will also return on Mondays through Fridays. Beginning at 9:30 AM at the Teatro Municipal (Municipal Theatre) in Cinelândia, the tours will pass the historic sites of the city including Passeio Público, Escadaria Selaron, Arcos da Lapa, Largo da Carioca, Confeitaria Colombo and Praça XV.

For art lovers, the 450 celebrations include many exhibitions and installations. The free Kandinsky exhibition, “Kandinsky: Tudo Começa num Ponto” (Kandinsky: All Begins at a Point), will continue at the CCBB in Centro through March and various artists will also exhibit their works, that celebrate Rio, in locations in the West and North Zone during the month as part of the 2nd Festival Carioca de Arte Pública (2nd Carioca Festival of Public Art).

To learn more about all of the Rio 450 events that will take place in March and during the rest the year see the official homepage.

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