By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For the very first time, New Year’s Eve festivities, or Réveillon as it is locally called, on Rio’s Copacabana Beach will have a movie theme. In celebration of the upcoming release of the animated film “Rio 2,” the event will ring in 2014 with sixteen minutes of colorful fireworks and entertainers including: Nando Reis, Lulu Santos, Carnival samba schools and international special guest, will.i.am.
Copacabana’s Réveillon is the second-biggest event after Carnival in the city. Every year millions of residents, nationals and foreigner tourists alike flock to the shoreline of Copacabana dressed traditionally in white to welcome in the New Year with a bang.
This year eleven barges floating in the bay will release 24 tons of fireworks, with some reaching over 100 meters above the water, lighting up the sky for sixteen minutes. The fireworks display will be synchronized with the “Rio 2” film soundtrack, composed by John Powell and will light in six multicolored phases, all in celebration of the film.
Fireworks designed to look like fans and large bluish volcanoes emerging from the oceans will began the event as part of the first phase entitled, “Blue Flight.” Next, large firework butterflies will find their homes among palms trees during phase two, “A colorful forest”. Fireworks will turn the sky green during phase three, “Exuberant Nature,” as trees and plants will form and morph into the Brazilian flag.
Rainbows will fill the skies for phase four, “Aquarela Carioca,” and the effects during phase five, “Sunrise of a New Time,” will include solar rays fading away replaced by hearts and angels. For the sixth and final phase of the show entitled, “Welcome 2014,” there will be traditional blasts of fireworks to celebrate new beginnings and the start of the new year.
For additional entertainment, three stages will be erected on shorelines and filled with over twenty performers and DJs.
The main stage will be located in front of the famous Copacabana Palace and will host DJ Duda M, Nando Reis, DJ Zabumba, Lulu Santos, Carlinhos Brown and international special guest will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas and voice of Pedro in “Rio” and “Rio 2”.
Members of the 2013 Carnival champion samba school of Vila Isabel will close out the stage for the night.
Performers for the second stage, located opposite Copacabana’s Santa Clara Street, will include; Luis Carlinhos, DJ Marquinhos, Sylvinho Blau Blau, Beth Carvalho and members of the Beija-Flor and Unidos da Tijuca samba schools.
On the shore in Leme, the third stage, named the Beat98 stage, DJ Brinquinho, DJ Lesco, João Gabriel, G5, among others will keep the celebrations going for those who gather at that end of the beach.
Every year more and more spectators attend the event, with 2.3 million people there last year. Also, another reported 45,000 spectators viewed the fireworks from thirteen cruise liners floating off the shore.
Furthermore, according to Rio city officials, approximately 750,000 tourists visited during last year’s New Year’s Eve celebration and generated approximately US$526 million in tourist income. An estimated 767,000 tourists are expected to attend the event this year.
For additional information see the official Copabana Réveillon website.