By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On December 31st, Copacabana beach will host one of the most famous New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world. Expecting to attract over two million people, the event marks the beginning of ‘Rio de Janeiro a Janeiro’ (Rio January to January), a program created to stimulate Rio’s tourism in 2018.
Launched in September earlier this year, Rio de Janeiro a Janeiro intends to develop a robust tourism calendar for Rio in 2018, promoting at least a hundred events in strategic areas like culture, sports and business. By increasing the tourism business and job creation, officials aim to contribute to the economic recovery of Rio’s State.
According to the Ministry of Culture, which runs Rio de Janeiro a Janeiro, along with Rio’s local government, state government, the Ministries of Social Development, Tourism and Sports, and representatives from the private sector, more than six hundred projects have already applied to participate in the program – from the cultural, sportive and corporative areas.
Officially opening the program, Rio 2018 New Year’s Eve will promote ten different events across the city, in neighborhoods like Barra da Tijuca, Flamengo and the Island of Paquetá. It is the Copacabana beach celebration, however, which is most anticipated by Cariocas and tourists.
Copacabana, especially the stage located in front of the Copacabana Palace Hotel, is confirmed to host ten different musical attractions on December 31st. Starting from 7PM, the celebration will include singer Anitta as the main artist and the performance of renowned samba schools Portela and Mocidade, the big winners of Carnival 2017.
In addition, Copacabana’s fireworks spectacle will last seventeen minutes this year – five more than in the 2017’s celebration. For the first time, there will be drones overflying Copacabana beach and broadcasting the fireworks’ spectacle through a brand new perspective.
On January 6th, the second event of “Rio de Janeiro a Janeiro” also happens at the Copacabana beach, gathering thirteen Carioca samba schools to walk on the Atlântica Avenue. This “Carnival warm-up” will be accompanied by the great Petrobras Orchestra, led by regent Isaac Karabtchevsky.
As New Year’s Eve approaches, the City Hall has also been promoting initiatives to help increasing Rio’s touristic infrastructure. Last Wednesday, December 30th, Riotur inaugurated two new units of tourist information, in the Santos Dumont Airport and in the Novo Rio Bus Station.
Those taking the metro (subway) to join Copacabana’s 2018 New Year’s Eve should buy a special ticket in one of the following stations: Pavuna, Uruguai, Central, Carioca, Glória and Jardim Oceânico.
Rides will go to either Siqueira Campos or Cardeal Arcoverde stations, and one must choose one of the five time options offered by MetrôRio (from 7PM to 12AM). The return ticket will work from 12AM to 5PM of January 1st, and does not require an exact time.