AUSTIN -- The long-running party of epic proportions is nearly upon us. Carnaval, the world's largest indoor Brazilian Mardi Gras celebration, explodes February 1 at the Palmer Events Center. Fueled by the pulse of samba drums, an endless parade of exotic costumes, and the uninhibited euphoria of 6,000 attendees, Carnaval has been a local tradition for 37 years.
The fiery Brazilian carnaval music is provided by New York’s Beleza Brasil, regularly voted the Best Brazilian Band in the USA by the Brazilian Press Association, and Austin’s own traditional Rio-style Samba School, the Acadêmicos da Ópera. The group of 40 drummers and 40 dancers, all decked out in elaborate costumes, will be making their tenth Carnaval presentation. Their up-close performances in the middle of the dance floor infuse the celebration with an authentic taste of Rio. This year the group includes a horn section of select players from Westlake High School.
Click the player below to watch a performance from 2012.
A portion of the Carnaval proceeds will benefit the Austin Sunshine Camps, a nonprofit organization which provides free summer camps and year-round mentoring programs for at-risk kids.