By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Thursday, January 26th, the long-awaited official list of Rio’s Carnival blocos and their street parade schedules was released by the city’s tourism body, Riotur. The list contains a total of 451 blocos, with 578 parades due to take place across the city.
The majority of the parades begin from this Friday, February 3rd, with blocos in Independetes do Morro do Pinto scheduled to take place in Centro at 6PM and Badalo da Santa Teresa in Santa Teresa from 7PM.
According to the official schedule, blocos will take place throughout the city until the weekend after Carnival with fifteen street parties on the final day, Sunday, March 5th. The city’s estimated crowd sizes for the blocos ranges from on hundred attendees to one million, with the largest blocos – any with more than 200,000 – scheduled to take place in Centro from Rua Primeira de Março.
Riotur estimates that in addition to the Carioca participation, the city of Rio will receive an additional 1.1 million tourists for Carnival this year. The city has announced it will provide a 25 percent increase in the number of portable toilets available this year, as a part of Riotur’s plan to accommodate extra tourists.
Speaking to G1, Riotur president Marcelo Alves explained the city’s priority for Carnival spending this year was to “reinvest in improvements of logistics, technology, to receive tourists with more comfort and safety”.
The list’s release was delayed this year, due to new mayor Marcelo Crivella’s request for more detailed security plans for 2017’s celebrations. While the original list, which surfaced on January 16th, contained 462 blocos, the final number is now 451.
However, unofficial blocos often spring up throughout Rio during the pre-Carnival period as well as during the official celebrations, with the first blocos this year beginning celebrations on January 8th.