Rio de Janeiro Carnival Agenda

Sambodromo, Blocos and Bandas are essential elements of the

Rio de Janeiro Carnival.

the Rio Carnival happens at the Sambodromo but it's at the Rio de Janeiro streets where people have a ball, by following over 300 blocos and bands from various Rio neighborhoods. Here you will find the most important Rio Carnival events.

The Rio de Janeiro Carnival is recognized as one of the biggest celebrations in the world and the annual Samba parade one of the greatest shows on earth. In 2016, Carnival will officially commence on Friday, 12th February, with the handing over of the city’s keys by the mayor to the Carnival King Momo.

A number of events take place around Carnival time in Rio. Over 300 street bands from various neighborhoods perform all over the city and are at the heart of the famous Rio street parties, many of which are impromptu. Blocos perform their theme songs and parade in the various neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro. Samba rules the house at the various Rio Carnival Balls, where masked theme nights add to the fun and merry making.

Samba schools have rehearsal nights which are open to the public, a great place to dance and sing with the locals.

The highlight of course is the annual Samba parades conducted at the Sambodromo Marques de Sapucai, more commonly called the Sambodromo, where the city’s Samba schools, after months of practice participate in the annual competition. The venue sells over 90,000 tickets every year to locals as well as people from all over the world who come to watch this spectacle.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival Agenda.

Rio Carnival Main Events

Day 1 – Friday 05 February 2016

13:00 - The carnival kicks off with the traditional opening ceremony. The Mayor of Rio will hand over the keys of the city to the reigning King of the Carnival popularly known as Momo. This is symbolic of the city being handed over to the revelers for the five day long Carnival.
21:00 – The first Samba Parade in the Sambodromo will begin with Rio's tier two Samba Schools (Access or Gold Group). Eleven schools will compete and the winner will receive the prestigious honor of entering the top tier Samba Schools or Special group.
23:00 – The Bola Preta Ball at the Scala Night Club dedicated to Rio's most bohemian street bloc, the Bola Preta, will raise the spirits of the evening in Downtown Rio. Well attended by celebrities, this is the first big bash of the Carnival.

Day 2 – Saturday 06 February 2016

09:30 – Saturday Carnival begins with the Cordão do Bola Preta street party. Roughly translated to the Polka Dot Blocos, this parade plays hip-twitching Samba music and moves with its crowd of ardent followers though Rio's historic downtown area.
16:00 – The hugely popular Banda de Ipanema will conduct its second block party of the festival. Crowds mostly in attention-grabbing costumes will begin to gather by mid-afternoon at Praça General Osório in Ipanema. At 16:00 the band will begin to play their most popular numbers and the frenzied street carnival parade will begin.
20:00 – Avenue Rio Branco in Rio City Center will be the venue of a riveting street band competition. Catch some of the most popular bands battle it out and dance it out with the local cariocas.
21:00 – Second day of competition for the Access or Gold Group in the Sambadrome.
23:00 – The sumptuous and glittering Magic Ball at the Copacabana Palace Rio de Janeiro will ensue with its glamorous guest list, first class dining and dazzling costumes.
23:00 - Scala hosts the Mangueira Ball, honoring the famous and traditional Mangueira Samba School

Rio de Janeiro Carnival Agenda.

Day 3 – Sunday 07 February 2016

21:00 – The first of the two foremost parades of the carnival, the Special Group parades will occur. Six of the twelve best Samba Schools in Rio will perform in front of 70,000 hysterical fans and millions around the world.
Throughout the Day – Street parties or Blocos will take place at different locations. One popular bloco is the Simpatia é Quase Amor which will begin at 17:00
23:00 – The Scala will hold its 4th thematic Ball – the City Ball, dedicated to the city of Rio.

Day 4 – Monday 08 February 2016

21:00 - The next six of the twelve top teams will get their chance to wow the crowds and the judges in the great Sambodromo.
23:00 – The hilarious Ball of the Beers at the Scala will keep all the revelers happy with its unlimited beer theme.

Rio Carnival Events

Day 5 – Tuesday 09 February 2016

16:00 – The Banda de Ipanema will once again hold their electrifying street parade. This will be the last opportunity to catch this hugely popular Rio band for another year.
19:00 - The Children's Parade will take place in the Sambodromo. In this entertaining event, children belonging to branches of the big Samba schools will perform in the Sambodromo. This is a ticketed event and extremely enjoyable particularly for families.
23:00 – The big finale of the Carnival, the legendary Gay Costume Ball at the Scala will begin. Filled with guest of alternative lifestyle resplendent in their extravagant and sumptuous costumes, this ticketed event is the ball of balls.

Mascot Koko All Rio Carnival events above are yet to be confirmed.
To receive News and Update about Rio de Janeiro Carnival, befriend our mascot Koko on Facebook.

Rio Carnival

Get on the List Now! Be part of the fun. Enjoy early bird specials on tickets, hotels, and airfare

security code

Have a Question? Our Experts are on Call Today. 305 722 5447
2016 Rio Carnival Sambodromo Tickets
2016 Free Carnival Guide
2016 Rio Carnival Balls Tickets