Things to Do

Austin’s Carnaval Brasileiro is Almost Here! Are You Ready?

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Tony Maples Photography


Want a taste of Brazil on a gasoline budget? Then travel to Austin on February 22 to Emo’s for Carnaval Brasileiro, the largest indoor Brazilian Carnaval party on the planet! People are gearing up for the famous costume contest and to make a splash for this one night only extravaganza with authentic Carnaval bands.

Austin's Carnaval Brasileiro is Almost Here! Are You Ready?

Facebook/Carnaval Brasileiro Austin

Similar in concept to Mardi Gras, Brazil’s Carnaval derives from medieval European Christian revels held just prior to the forty days of Lent. This holiday of indulgence is nationwide and can extend for days into weeks. This event is identifiable by the music with African rhythms and its socially-equalizing street dances. Officially founded in 1978, the first Carnaval Brasileiro was in 1975, by Brazilian students taking a six-week-long intensive English course at The University of Texas, who could not experience a February without Carnaval.

The event grew each year. 1978 saw over a thousand bodies, and by 2:00 a.m. every drop of alcohol in the place had been sold, so the party was able to continue on until 4:00 a.m. Legend states the hosting club was so inundated with dancers, it had to repaint the dance floor the following week!

Austin's Carnaval Brasileiro is Almost Here! Are You Ready?

Facebook/Mike Quinn

Venues, musical acts, and costumes have all changed over the years, but the rhythm of event cares on. Practice your conga line movement, gear up the craziest costume (or lack thereof) you can find, and expect to see everything and nothing. Previous Carnavals have been cash-only events, so bring plenty just in case. Also, a coat check is being advertised as available, parking is free, and Lyft has a promotional partnership to offer 30% OFF to event attendees. Tickets are online for $35; the headliners are Gisele and Brazilian Express from Rio de Janeiro/Austin, and Austin Samba. Get ready to party like the locals do in Brazil!