Updated on March 6, 2014
Rio de Janeiro Carnival doesn't end with Ash Wednesday. In recent years, the days after Fat Tuesday have shown a surge in Carnival activity. Discover the options the city affords late revelers in 2014.
The post-Carnival season is off to a great start with Me Beija Que Sou Cineasta ("Kiss Me, I'm a Moviemaker"), in Gávea (see photos of yesterday's parade on the Riotur Flickr). Planta na Mente ("Plant in Your Mind" or "Plant on Your Mind", a pro legalization of marijuana bloco, draws about 5,000 in Lapa.
If you're arriving in Rio for the weekend, here are my top picks for upcoming parades, but you can find a complete listing of blocos on this street Carnival guide by Agenda Samba e Choro.
For paying revelers, the great event this weekend is the Champions' Parade on the Sambódromo, featuring the top six samba schools in the competitive Special Group parades from the Independent Samba School League (LIESA). In 2014, the grand winner is Unidos da Tijuca
Friday, March 7, 2014
8 p.m. - Kizomba, Vila Isabel
Where: Praça Sete
Here's an amazing chance to enjoy Carnival in Rio's North Side. Unidos de Vila Isabel, the neighborhood's samba school, didn't make the top 6 in the Special Group, but the Greater Tijuca area, of which Vila Isabel is part, is again enjoying the glory of its samba traditions with the victory of Unidos da Tijuca in the competitive Special Group this Carnival and Salgueiro in second place.
8 p.m. - Só Tamborins, Lapa
Starting Point: Rua da Lapa
Show up for a batucada de bamba - samba rhythms performed by masters. Created by Mestre Penha, a director of percussion bands, and tambourine player friends, Só Tamborins ("Just Tamborins") still gets its main force from this one instrument. Its parade is in post-Carnival as so many of the band members parade with Rio de Janeiro samba schools. The crowd will move along Rua da Lapa, Passeio Público, Avenida Mem de Sá, Rua Gomes Freire, Rua Riachuelo and back to Travessa Mosquera.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
10 a.m. - Quizomba, Lapa
Starting Point: Rua do Riachuelo
This year, Quizomba is again parading in post-Carnival. The excellent bloco has grown a lot in recent years and is expanding its shows and parties to other parts of Brazil, but it has stayed true to its Circo Voador and Lapa roots.
4 p.m. - Mulheres de Chico, Leme
Where: Av. Atlântica 100
Their sound is really good and their songwriter of choice, Chico Buarque, is a Brazil music giant. No wonder this all-women bloco's post-Carnival party on the sands of Leblon Beach has grown so large (see photos on the Riotur Flickr), while still keeping its peaceful and lighthearted atmosphere.
5 p.m. - Embaixadores da Folia, Lapa
Starting Point: Avenida Gomes Freire
A great bloco in the Central area (Feb.14 correction: this year parading in the afternoon, and not in the evening, as previously published). The parade will go down Gomes Freire, Mem de Sá, Rua dos Inválidos, Rua da Relação and back to Gomes Freire.
5 p.m. - Bafafá, Ipanema
Where: Posto 9
Carnival supreme on Ipanema Beach: Bafafá doesn't parade, but rather gathers around a stage at Posto 9 (Lifeguard Station 9), where the brass band from Cordão da Bola Preta plays one Carnival hit after another.
6 p.m. - Afoxé Filhos de Gandhi
Starting Point: Rua Sacadura Cabral
Nearly as famous as Filhos de Gandhy in Salvador, Bahia, and with almost as much history, Rio's afoxé - a bloco with deep roots in the Candomblé faith - is undoubtedly one of the very best choices in post-Carnival parades. And this year, they're going out in their own neighborhood, as opposed to Centro like last year.
6 p.m. - Sufridus de Copacabana, Copacabana
Where: Praça Manoel Campos da Paz
One of the newest blocos in Rio de Janeiro street Carnival, Sufridus has an easygoing party on the square.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
9a.m. - Monobloco, Centro
Starting Point: Corner of Avenida Rio Branco and Avenida Presidente Vargas
The core band itself is a crowd doing various types of stirring styles. The following consists of about half a million people. Monobloco, like Cordão da Bola Preta and other huge blocos, is for the sturdy reveler who doesn't fear jostling.
10 a.m. - Galinha do Meio-Dia, Ipanema
Where: Largo do Millôr
Discover the joys of post-Carnival in Rio with the Midday Hen bloco (a playful reference to Recife’s Galo da Madrugada, or Rooster of Dawn), throwing a street Carnival party. Their music is frevo, marchinhas and more. They will also have a parade at 4 p.m., starting on Avenida Vieira Souto near Rua Henrique Dumont.
11 a.m. - Conjunto Habitacional Barangal, Ipanema
Starting Point: Posto 9 (Lifeguard Station 9), Avenida Vieira Souto
A crowd that spends a lot of time at Posto 9 decides to go out as a bloco and the result is Barangal (aka Condomínio Habitacional Barangal), whose full name means something along the lines of "a run-down apartment complex, inhabited by a lot of ugly women". Their songs are packed with double meaning, their colors are green and orange; their parade at hip Posto 9, also Rio's LGBT crowd's favorite beach hangout, is energetic, safe and joined by lots of beautiful people.