By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – When one thinks of Carnival in Brazil one thinks of Rio de Janeiro or maybe the Northeastern city of Salvador. South America’s largest metropolis, São Paulo, however, has been attracting more and party-goers. According to officials this year, the city is expected receive the largest number of carnival ‘blocos’ in its history.
“In the past if you wanted to enjoy blocos you had to go to Rio, Salvador or even a small city in the interior of São Paulo,” says Larissa Silva, resident of São Paulo city. “But this year, I’m actually looking forward to staying home and enjoying what promises to be one of the best Carnivals yet!”
And Silva will have a wide array to choose from. The blocos’ music will range from classic Carnival songs, to Beatles-tunes-with-a-samba beat, to classical music. There are even blocos dedicated to small children and pets.
According to city hall, 516 blocos will parade through the streets of São Paulo city during the 2019 Carnival season, attracting more than twelve million people. The blocos will take to the streets between the 23rd of February and the 10th of March, and some will hold parades not just once but twice this year.
In all, there will be 556 parades on 300 routes throughout the city.
Officials estimate that of the 516 blocos sixteen are considered megablocos, attracting more than 100,000 revelers each.
The blocks with up to four thousand members and registered in the parades for at least the past three years will receive from the city hall sound cars and ambulances, during the official Carnival days, March 2nd-5th.