Rio Mayor Expands Rio's Carnival to 50 Days to Attract Tourists

Street carnival groups criticize election year announcement

Rio de Janeiro

In a clear marketing ploy, the city of Rio de Janeiro has decided to extend the official period of Carnival to 50 days this year. The revelry will start this Sunday (12), with a show on the sands of Copacabana, and will end on March 1st. Last year, counting the pre and post-carnival, there were 23 days of official revelry.

The city wants to take the structure set up for the New Year's Eve party and induce tourists to stay in the city longer, increasing from 1.7 million to 1.9 million the number of visitors, mayor Marcelo Crivella disclosed on Wednesday (8).

Street carnival group Simpatia (Foto: Luciola Villela/ UOL). - Foto: Luciola Villela

The number of planned street carnival parades has also grown again: 543 registered so far, compared to 498 in 2019 and 608 in 2018. The so-called mega street carnival groups will continue to be concentrated in the city center (see schedule at the end), which equaled the southern zone in total parades. (133).

With the expansion of Carnival in other capitals of the country such as Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte, the city of Rio de Janeiro has been in stiff competition for the title of "biggest" and "best" Carnival of Brazil.

Even so, Marcelo Alves, president of Riotur, the municipal company responsible for the event, argues that this will be the biggest celebration the city has ever seen. "Hotel occupancy is at 70% and will reach 100%. [...] More than R $ 4 billion of economic movement," he said at a news conference.

He underscored the complexity of organizing the party - with several days and a younger, less-moneyed audience than the families that come for the New Year - and pinned it: "Everyone wants Carnival, but nobody wants Carnival on your doorstep in front of your house."

Rio's evangelical mayor is reputed to be an enemy of Carnival —which he denies. Crivella has never attended a samba school parade in the sambodromo, and he extinguished the municipal budget for samba schools.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language