Updated in February 2013
Banda de Ipanema, a Rio de Janeiro cultural heritage, is one of the city's most famous blocos. In fact, it's widely credited with a key role in the revival of street Carnival in Rio.
Created in 1965, during the military dictatorship in Brazil, by a group of friends which included some of the people who made Pasquim, a newspaper which opposed the dictatorship with a good dose of irreverence, Banda de Ipanema debuted with an unannounced parade. More and more people spontaneously joined in that historical parade, under the mysterious motto "Yolhesman crisbeles", which upset the dictatorship despite its total lack of ulterior meanings.
Having thrived under the guidance of pioneers such as Albino Pinheiro, today Banda de Ipanema gathers about 25,000 people for a parade which starts at Rua Gomes Carneiro.
Democratic and Gay-Friendly Carnival
Banda de Ipanema has stayed true to its democratic origins. People of all ages, outrageous costumes and raucous behavior are all welcome. Through the years, the bloco has become more decidedly gay. Drag queens are a hallmark of Banda de Ipanema.
Although more sexually blatant behavior has taken place in Banda de Ipanema parades, there is a fine line beyond which certain attitudes are not welcome by the majority of Banda revelers.
If you like wearing costumes, don't miss the opportunity to go all the way out when you join Banda de Ipanema. But you'll be totally OK in plain summer clothes.
Banda de Ipanema 2013 Parade Dates:
Pre-Carnival Parades on Jan. 19 and 26 at 4 p.m.
Carnival Parade on Saturday, Feb.9 at 4 p.m.
Starting Point: Rua Gomes Carneiro
The parade takes beachfront Av. Vieira Souto, then Rua Joana Angélica and Rua Visconde de Pirajá to Praça General Osório.