Carnaval Brasileiro, one of Austin’s longest-lived annual events, has grown into the largest indoor Brazilian Mardi Gras celebration anywhere on the globe; and it explodes at tomorrow, February 4th 9:00 p.m. at Austin’s Palmer Events Center, located 900 Barton Springs Road. For those who have never attended a Carnaval event, you can expect to experience and infectiously danceable pulse of samba drums, an endless parade of exotic costumes, and an uninhibited euphoria of over 6,000 attendees.
Austin’s Carnaval Brasileiro began in the early 1970s to offer UT’s Brazilian students a nostalgic dose of their homeland’s legendary festivities, and is now a local institution. Second only to Eeyore’s Birthday, Carnaval is the city’s longest lived party/festival, with more than thirty percent of the party’s 6,000 attendees coming from outside the Austin area.
The heart and soul of this festivity resides in the authentic fiery Brazilian carnival music provided by two high energy bands. The first being New York’s Beleza Brasil, voted the Best Brazilian Band in the USA by the Brazilian Press Association, and regular veterans of Rio’s famous carnaval parades, these eleven Brazilian-born musicians have played individually with everyone from Baden Powell and Marvin Gaye to Sun Ra and David Byrne. The second band is Austin’s own traditional Rio-style Samba School, the Acadêmicos da Ópera, a locallybased group of 40 drummers and 40 dancers, all decked out in elaborate unifying costumes. This will be their eighth Carnaval presentation.
Acadêmicos da Ópera have chosen the classic story of The Wizard of Oz for their costume theme this year which is reflected in the 2012 poster for the event.
A portion of the proceeds from Carnaval will benefit the Austin Sunshine Camps, a non-profit organization which provides not only free summer camps for Austin at-risk kids, but year-round mentoring and leadership programs. Tickets are available online and in Austin at Costume World, Waterloo Records, and Lucy in Disguise. For more information: 512-452-6832, or log onto www.CarnavalAustin.com.
By Katie Warner