By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The most famous Christmas tree in Rio will not be put up on the Lagoa, in Zona Sul (South Zone), for the second consecutive year. Like in 2016, the monument was cancelled due to a lack of funding from group Bradesco Seguros, exclusive sponsor of Lagoa’s tree for the last nineteen years.
Already in the first semester of 2016, Bradesco Seguros announced its decision to not continuing as an exclusive sponsor of Lagoa’s tree. Regarding the economic crisis’ scenario that Rio’s state has been facing, the difficulties in finding new supporters left Cariocas and tourists without the iconic Christmas tree also this year.
“I used to go there almost every year, since the first tree was inaugurated. It is really sad the moment Rio has been living right now, to the extent Lagoa’s Christmas tree cannot be put up. Hopefully it will be back for good in 2018”, says Carioca and Rio resident Rosa Fernandes.
According to O Globo, Lagoa’s iconic tree should be back for Christmas 2018, with Caixa Econômica Federal, Brazil’s public financial institution, becoming the sponsor of the monument.
Considered the largest Christmas tree in the world and having once reached the colossal height of 85 meters (equivalent to a 28 floor building), Lagoa’s Christmas tree is one of the most important symbols of Rio during the festive season.
The tree lightening ceremony is a real tradition in November, when thousands of Cariocas gather around the monument to celebrate it with a fireworks’ show and live music.
This year, a great alternative to Lagoa’s tree is the one standing at Barra Shopping mall’s parking lot, in Barra.
Inaugurated on November 15th, this tree presents impressive numbers, including one million LED lamps and a length of 55 meters – two more than the last Lagoa tree.
The Barra Shopping mall is open from Monday to Sunday, from 10AM to 10PM.