By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The city of Rio de Janeiro and the agencies involved in planning the New Year’s Eve in Copacabana have predicted the largest audience in history for this year’s event and fireworks display.
According to the president of Riotur, Marcelo Alves, three million people are expected to join the celebration in the beach-side neighborhood, a predicted increase of fifty percent from the previous years, when it was estimated that around two million attended.
“We intend to deliver the largest and the best so that our image is the best possible for Brazil and the world,” said Alves.
The fireworks display will be five minutes longer than last year, reaching seventeen minutes in total. Marcelo Alves said that about 25 tons of fireworks will be used, with special effects not seen before at the party. The fireworks will be set off from eleven ferries, and the main stage shows will be broadcast to the public on twelve screens.
The investment to make the New Year’s event happen will be approximately R$25 million, being 82 percent from the private sponsorship. “Our ability to gain commercial involvement was a success. [New Year] is not a cost, it is an investment. It generates R$2 billion for the city,” said the president of Riotur.
The schedule for the New Year’s Eve includes shows that start at 5PM and will continue until after 3AM. The main attraction is the singer Anitta, who will perform soon after the fireworks. There are also concerts of the band Cidade Negra, the singer Frejat and the drum sections of samba schools Portela and Mocidade.
To guarantee security on Copacabana Beach, the Military Police (MP) have mobilized 1,822 police officers and 64 vehicles. Thirty observation towers will be positioned on the edge of Copacabana – fifteen in the sand and fifteen in the boardwalk. In addition to the vehicles, policing will also be done on foot, with bikes, dogs and on horseback.
Swedish expatriate living in Rio and operator of destination management service Rio Love Story, Tavi Norén, explains, “I believe the security on Copacabana beach will be enough this year because of the security reinforcements such as Rio + Seguro which have added a big security presence already.”
As far as the actual event, Norén shares, “New Year’s Eve On Copacabana Beach is a way to enter into the new year with great positive energy on the most famous beach in the world. The fireworks show from the beach is a sight to remember for life”.