By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Thousands of partygoers paraded throughout Rio de Janeiro yesterday filling the city with music, colorful costumes and revelry as they joined in on the Carnaval fixture of street parties known as blocos.

Blocos Begin to Fill Rio's Streets, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Bloco Imprensa que eu Gamo, held both a marriage ceremony and mourned the passing of cameraman Santiago Andrade during their parade on Saturday, photo by Raphael Dias, RIOTUR/ASCOM.

In Ipanema, one of the most traditional Zona Sul (South Zone) blocos, Banda de Ipanema, celebrated their 50th anniversary with approximately five thousand people in attendance.

The festivities began on Saturday at Ipanema’s Praça General Osório. There, one banner for the bloco stated; “Banda de Ipanema, all party – 50 years of democracy in the streets.”

Maria Vasco, one of the first to march for the group, told O Globo: “It’s wonderful to be here. The band represents the philosophy of Ipanema.”

Meanwhile in the Laranjeiras neighborhood on Saturday, the bloco Imprensa que Eu Gamo, celebrated a marriage and also mourned the passing of cameraman Santiago Andrade.

The marriage ceremony between thirty-one-year old Aline Prado, a porta-bandeira (flag bearer) for the bloco and thirty-two-year old Bruno Nalbone proceeded the procession. The couple and their family in attendance dressed in period costumes.

After the ceremony, Prado took her place in the parade as flag bearer and Nalbone temporarily become the mestre-sala (master of the room), a a figure of the Carnival parade, who walks besides the flag bearer, paying tribute to her and the flag.

The bloco, also paid tribute to the TV Bandeirantes’ Santiago Andrade. The cameraman recently died after being hit by a firework during a protest. It was group of journalists that created the Imprensa que Eu Gamo bloco in 1995.

“The sadness was not just because it is a companion of our press that died, but because it could have been any human being. [A death like that], we can never accept,” journalist and founder of the bloco, Ramona Ordoñez, told Agência Brasil.

This year, a total of 466 blocos were authorized as part of the Carnaval de Rua (Street Carnival) in Rio and they will continue to parade across town until and throughout Carnival, which will officially begin on Friday, February 28th and run through Tuesday, March 4th.

For a full schedule of upcoming blocos by date, name and/or region see here.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


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