Thursday, 12 February 2009

Carnival 2009 in Florianopolis -II

Carnival in Florianopolis happens all over the Island, but the most traditional events, the Samba Schools Parade, Bloco dos Sujos parties and the Pop Gay Festival, all happen downtown.

During the 5 days (20-24th February), there are street parties animated by bands playing on stages distributed around the centre. Next to the Public Market, around the XV November Square ( a.ka. Praça da Figueira) and in Hercilio Luz Avenue, an area almost exclusively frequented by the LGBT crowd during Carnival. Music starts from 21h and finishes 2 a.m.

Saturday (21st Feb) is the night of the Samba Schools Parade in the local Sambadrome (Passarela Nêgo Quirido). Tickets are cheap but difficult to get hold of unless you queue for hours, so it is easier to get them from touts on the day. They should cost from around R$50. The parade starts oficially at 20h, but delays are very common, so expect to wait until 21-21:30 until the first School appears. The whole show lasts around 7- 8 h, going into the early hours of the morning. Dress warm and take a rain coat, as the stands are not covered!

Sunday is the day of Bloco dos Sujos, a very traditional part of the local Carnival. Hordes of cross-dressed man (most of them straight and married...) parade during the afternoon through the centre of town dancing, singing and drinking- loads!, frequently accompanied by their whole families. Quite a sight! Later on the smaller neighbourhood samba groups -"blocos"- compete at the Sambadrome. From 19h.

On Monday night the biggest event is the Pop Gay Festival, which is a competition of Carnival costumes for Drag Queens and Transexuals. Traditionally it was held in the Hercilio Luz Avenue (where the LGBT crowd gathers), but due to its huge success ( last year 50 thousand people attended) , it was moved this year to Tancredo Neves Square, a few blocks away from the original site. The crowd is very mixed with lots of families attending. Starts from 21h.

Apart from downtown, the neighbourhood of Santo Antonio de Lisboa has a more low-key but still very popular Carnival, with parties every night and also the Children's Carnival on Sunday. Campeche and Lagoa are also neighbourhoods that have "blocos" on Carnival Sunday.

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