Monday, February 23, 2009

How blocos work

So in Salvador, there are 3 primary locations on the parade route.

Each bloco is a local band of some sort that has a big decorated vehicle, then followed by another big vehicle that serves drinks and has bathrooms for the crowd of people that have paid to be in the bloco. There's a 5cm thick rope that 100s of security people (regular people being paid) carry around and move in unison with the trucks. The rope goes around everyone who has paid into the bloco.

You can tell who has paid into a bloco by the tshirt that the person is wearing, so these tshirts are very valuable. My tshirt was $110 for 3 nights of parade with that bloco. Some blocos are more or less expensive based on the popularity of the specific band. 1 tshirt is good for walking with 1 bloco for 3 different days. Carnaval is 6 nights long, so each bloco does 3 nights every other night.

Each of the 3 nights a bloco performs, they start at 1 of the 3 spots on the route. It's differnet everytime. So if you want to be with your bloco every time, you need to look at the schedule of where it starts and ends and go there to meet your bloco people.

So basically the trucks, the band, the people who have the tshirts, they become the parade. As you walk with your bloco, people see you and the music and cheer. Buying into a bloco is like being in the parade.


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