Tourists keep pouring into the Wonderful City (Cidade Maravilhosa) where not even Omicron is to kill the joy of its people, even if the streets will be less colorful for the second year in a row.
Sambadrome dancing has been rescheduled for April and street parties have been scrapped altogether.
Grégoire Putteman, a party organizer and DJ complained about having to cap his Domply party at 1,500 people, in order to check attendees’ vaccination status, and would only be able to offer free entrance up to a point. In prior years, he could bring in as many as 3,000 revelers.
“Everything is already happening in the city, there are parties every weekend, there are parties in the streets, so prohibiting them during carnival doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “People really want to party.”
Despite an atmosphere less fired-up when compared to previous years, foreign languages can still be heard across the city’s beaches, according to local reports.
Alfredo Lopes from the Rio Hotels guild said in a statement he expected occupancy to reach 85% in the coming days and cited the currency exchange rate between Brazil’s real and the US dollar and the high vaccination rate among Brazilians as the main two reasons for people wanting to travel, particularly to domestic destinations.
Dani Souto, another DJ, said he expected between 6,000 to 10,000 people at his O/NDA party, while he regretted the absence of street action for which Rio is famous worldwide. “It’s sad to see,” he said. “Rio de Janeiro is a city that is really dependent on the carnival, and the carnival is really dependent on Rio de Janeiro.”
Putteman said he thought some people may end up ignoring the street partying ban. “Aside from all the private parties that will take place, I think [people] will spring up at the last minute,” he said.
Cidade maravilhosa was written and composed by André Filho and arranged by Silva Sobreira for the Rio de Janeiro carnival in 1935. It has since become the anthem for the city of Rio de Janeiro, although the city’s name does not appear in the song.