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12 Great Blocos in Rio de Janeiro Street Carnival

Simpatia é Quase Amor (2010)

Pedro Kirilos/Riotur

Updated on Feb.7, 2013

Some of the best blocos, or Carnival groups, in Rio de Janeiro are members of Sebastiana (www.sebastiana.org.br), the Association of Street Carnival Blocos from the South Side, Santa Teresa and Centro.

The revitalization of Rio de Janeiro street Carnival, one of the top cultural phenomema in Brazil in recent years, finds great support in this gathering of blocos which parade in some of Rio's top touristic spots. All the groups associated under Sebastiana share traits which contribute to a superb Carnival experience: they have their own band, usually made up of 50 professional musicians; official flag, colors, and a new t-shirt and theme song for every Carnival.

The association was founded in 2000 by directors of street Carnival groups with the objective of finding the best solutions for growing street parades. One of the organization's most important missions is to keep Rio de Janeiro street Carnival open to the participation of all, without mandatory costumes or abadás (Carnival parade outfits), cordoned or VIP areas. Participation in the parades is always free. All Sebastiana parades are registered with Riotur, Rio's official tourism bureau, which allows the city administration to assign police officers to parade monitoring as well as provide transit organization on parade days and cleanup services.

Besides going out on Carnival days, some Sebastiana blocos host rehearsals and have their bands featured in pre-Carnival shows and parties. Some of those events have an admission fee.

Sebastiana Blocos:

Learn more about the 12 blocos in the Sebastiana association and find out when they're parading or rehearsing this Carnival:

Jan.28, 2012 correction: Apologies for the mixed-up links to individual bloco pages. They have been corrected.

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