Updated on Feb.13, 2013
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 2013.
The 2013 post-Carnival season was off to a great start with Me Enterra na Quarta (Bury Me on Wednesday), parading in Santa Teresa - see photos on G1. Other fun options for Ash Wednesday in Rio are Super Mario Bloco, also parading in Santa Teresa, and Me Beija Que Sou Cineasta ("Kiss Me, I'm a Moviemaker"), in Gávea (see photos of today's parade on the Riotur Flickr). Planta na Mente ("Plant in Your Mind" or "Plant on Your Mind", a pro legalization of marijuana bloco, drew about 5,000 in Lapa, according to O Globo.
Unfortunately, the passage of blocos has left a great amount of trash to be picked up in the streets and beaches of Rio this Ash Wednesday (see article on O Globo). It has been pointed by street cleaners that crowds are taking longer than last year to disperse in some parades, and therefore delaying their work.
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 2013, the grand winner is Unidos de Vila Isabel.
Thursday, Feb.14, 2013
- 4 p.m. - Carnavalança with Kizombinha, Vila Isabel
Where: Praça Sete
One can only imagine the high vibe of post-Carnival with Kizomba (not to be confused with Quizomba) and Kizombinha, the bloco's version for kids, at their two events following the victory of the neighborhood's samba school, Unidos de Vila Isabel, in the Special Group parades. Mart’nália, Kizomba co-founder (with her brothers), is the daughter of songwriter Martinho da Vila, who celebrated his 75th birthday even as he rode a float as one of the honorees in the Sambódromo parade. Here's great fun in the North Side for the whole family. See the Friday listing below for the Kizomba party.
6 p.m. - Voltar pra quê?, Centro
Starting Point: Rua Álvaro Alvim, Cinelândia
Central Rio has superb happy hour, a nightlife vibe with decades of tradition - it's only fitting it should have great nighttime Carnival and post-Carnival too. Voltar pra quê? does that well (see photos of a parade on the Riotur Flickr). Wear the bloco colors (blue and red), a costume or just plain clothes as lots of people do.
Friday, Feb.15, 2013
- 4 p.m. - Kizomba, Vila Isabel
Where: Praça Sete
Here's an amazing chance to enjoy the Vila Isabel at the height of their joyous post-Carnival season, and for free with the Kizomba bloco (the Unidos da Vila Isabel samba school, 2013 Rio Carnival's grand winners, will be in the Champion's Parade the following day).
- 7 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, Feb.16, 2013
- 9 a.m. - Quizomba, Lapa
Starting Point: Rua dos Arcos, in front of Circo Voador
This year, Quizomba is 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.
- 2 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.
- 3 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. Watch Bafafá 2009 on YouTube.
- 4 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.
- 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.
- Time to be announced - Go East Orkestar (GEO), Catete/Flamengo/Laranjeiras
Where: To be announced
Largo do Machado, a square where three neighborhoods meet, is usually the venue for Brazil-Carnival-meets-Balkan-music with the GEO party. The blend really works (check out the GEO YouTube Channel) and the party vibe is safe and light. As of this update, the exact place and starting time for the post-Carnival party on Sat, Feb.16 are to be announced on the band's Facebook.
Sunday, Feb.17, 2013
- 7a.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 – and the fun is worth waking up this early.
- 9 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 GLBT favorite beach hangout, is energetic, safe and joined by lots of beautiful people.
- Noon - Galinha do Meio-Dia, Arpoador
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 at one of the city's most scenic spots. Their music is frevo, marchinhas and more. The bloco will be in the same spot for another party at 3 p.m.
- 3 p.m. - Galinha do Meio-Dia, Arpoador