Check the Sao Paulo Carnival Program and plan your stay.
From a small event in the 1950s, the Carnival in Sao Paulo is one of the most sensational Carnivals that Brazil hosts during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday. The Carnival attracts thousands of enthusiasts from all over the state and overseas visitors as well. The Sambódromo do Anhembi is where Sao Paulo’s top samba schools vie for the championship title every year. Months of preparation reaches its climax as the parade continues for five days leading up to Ash Wednesday.
The Anhembi Sambadrome is filled with over 30,000 supporters of samba schools who finally have the opportunity to show off their creativity and hard work with costumes, samba songs, and dance, that leave the spectators wanting for more. While the Indy cars may set the stadium’s track on fire during the Formula Indy, the samba parade heats up the Sambadrome even more with a bevy of beauties aspiring to become the samba queen and drummers who have the spectators on their feet all through the night.
The extravaganza with outrageous parades, costumed revelers, and colorful floats spills out onto the streets with many street parades and Carnival balls held in the city over the week. Tickets for the main parade of samba schools on Friday and Saturday range in price from more affordable to the expensive private box with 25 seats.
Friday and Saturday are the main days at the Sao Paulo Carnival, unlike Rio which reaches its climax on Carnival Sunday and Monday. The nonstop parties are accessible to people from various lifestyles. Events range from the family oriented entertainment to the exotic and outrageously expensive. For the 2014 Carnival in Sao Paulo, United Peruche has been chosen for the opening parade of the Special Group on Friday, February 8th; followed by performances of Tom Maior, the Academic Tucuruvi, Rosas de Ouro, Mancha Verde, Vai-Vai, and Perola Negra.
Carnival Saturday opens with presentations by Nene da Vila Matilde, followed by Aguia de Ouro, Mocidade Alegre, United Vila Maria, X-9 Paulistana, Gavioes da Fiel and, finally the Imperio de Casa Verde. The last day features samba schools of the Access Group with Torcida Jovem followed by Academic Tatuape, Empire of Ipiranga, Morro da Casa Verde, Camisa Verde e Branco, Uirapuru Mooca and Leandro de Itaquera. The performance by the Dragoes da Real will close the festival.
Street parades are held throughout Sao Paulo during Carnival week. One of the most popular blocos takes place in Bixiga, which is home to Vai-Vai, the top samba school in the city. Other popular street parades include Banda do Trem Elétrico on Rua Augusta 1500, Consolação and Bantantã on Avenida Waldemar Ferreira 231, Butantã and Bloco dos Esfarrapados on Rua Conselheiro Carrão 500 Bela Vista.
One of the most popular parades for youth between the ages of 15 to 25 is Bloco Umes Caras Pintadas by the UMES, a high school students’ union, that parade on Rua Rui Barbosa 323 Bela Vista.
Bar Brahma and Avenida Club hold two of the most prestigious balls in Sao Paulo during the Carnival. The Bar Brahma Ball is held on all five nights from Carnival Friday to Tuesday with only a cover charge. Another great option is Camarote Bar Brahma, a special mezzanine box at the Anhembi Sambadrome, where you get to watch the parade along with food and drinks.
Avenida Club on Avenida Pedroso de Moraes in Pinheiros is packed with over 800 people every night during the Carnival. The club’s Carnival Ball is among the best parties in town featuring samba school theme songs.