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Rio Carnival Blocos
Blocos are Rio's local street parades, A Bloco Carnavalesco is generally a much more casual affair than a Samba School parade. Most Blocos are happy for anyone to join in, though there are also a few competitive divisions of Blocos too - the winner of the top group each year gets promoted to the bottom division of the Samba Schools competitions.
Most Blocos have a samba enredo (song) and a bateria playing Rio Samba, but there are some variations. Most Blocos parade in the Zona Sul, near Copacabana or Ipanema. The big ones give you as vibrant a carnival experience as you will experience anywhere in the world, whilst others are very local affairs, but each has its own charms. The biggest, like MonoBloco or Simpatia é quase Amor, can have up to 10,000 participants.
Rio Carnival Balls
One ball is generally enough for people. There are balls on most nights, except Sunday and Monday, these are held at various venues around the city, Scala holding the Red & Black Ball (Baile Vermelho y Preto) on Friday as well as the Gay ball on the Tuesday.
The ball which most people go to is the 'Red and Black ball'. This is affiliated with the Flamenco football club and everyone wears red and black clothing. It is held on the Friday night, and starts at 11:00pm with tickets bought at the door. It gets extremely hot inside, and extra crowded, there are 2 bands that play throughout the night, (samba music).
Tuesday night is the famous gay ball also at the Scala complex in the suburb of leblon, very easy to get to on the public bus. Entry is around R$80-100 but many people just go to people-watch around the entry, there is a little runway which those attending walk along before entering, this provides some great photo opportunities, as they always like to show off. Hard to work out what is what if you know what I mean, not the place to pull. But a good night, free to watch with plenty of street food.
Costumes are not necessary for any of the balls, but many people like to dress up. More exclusive balls are held at the Copacabana Palace Hotel, but the tickets sell for about US$300 and costumes are necessary.
Green Toad Bus Carnival
SECTOR 12 or 13 Cheap Sambadrome Tickets or upgrade to better seats. Tickets available for the Sunday 15 February or the Monday 16th February Para...