Human festivities scrapped, Rio’s Carnival goes to the canines

The Rio de Janeiro Carnival celebrations may have been canceled, but no one told the dogs

February 13, 2021, 5:58 p.m.

2 min read

RIO DE JANEIRO – The Carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro may have been canceled but no one told the dogs.

Animal lovers from across the city gathered on Saturday for an annual event where dozens of people and their furry four-legged companions battle for the best costume.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the street parties and traditional parades in the Sambadrome were canceled to avoid the crowds, but the dogs still had their day with the “Blocao”. The word is a mix of “bloco”, which refers to the traditional carnival street parties, and “cao” – dog in Portuguese.

Dozens of costumed dogs took part in a carnival parade at a private club in the Recreio dos Bandeirantes neighborhood. The parade usually takes place along Avenida Atlantica on Copacabana Beach, but this year Rio’s mayor has banned any public celebration.

“The Cariocas (as Rios residents are called) carry the joy of Carnival in their veins. We invited a restricted audience to a memorial and long-distance event that is preventing the 2021 Carnival from ending as if nothing had happened, “said Marco Antonio Marinho, 66, who has organized the dog parade for 18 years.

“During this pandemic, many people adopted dogs to heal their loneliness in isolation. We are with our dogs in the face of COVID-19, “he said.

Out on the parade were Boquino, a dog in a clown costume, and Cleo in a snow-white outfit, and Sandy adorned in red.

For many participants, the pet parade was an opportunity to get out of custody for a moment and regain some of the usual carnival joy.

“I couldn’t miss the parade today. It’s a spacious, airy and very familiar place, ”said Francisca Freire, who attended the parade with a Yorkshire dog, Eve, dressed like a doctor in a medical apron, with a mask and stethoscope. Freire and her dog have been participating in the pet parades for six years.

“It’s an escape from quarantine. The dogs actually go for a walk with us, “added Freide.