MONTEVIDEO – Men, women and children of all ages were covered with glitter this Sunday as they filled Montevideo’s main avenue with carnival rhythms during Carnival’s Parade of Samba Schools.
Despite the heat of summer, participants displayed their rhythmic hip movements and biggest smiles to seduce both the public and the judges.
In this year’s carnival, eight groups showed their movements under various themes ranging from the underwater world and pollution, the World Cup, and Rastafarianism to fantasy.
Sofia Peña, one of the leading stars of the group Embaixadores da Alegria, told EFE that she started rehearsing in April 2018 to prepare for the parade.
She said neither the high heels nor the heavy feather headdress she wore could impede her dancing because of “the passion” that drives her.
The head of the parade and the flag holder for Viramundo School, Agustin Castro, said the hardest part of the day was battling the heat.
“We sweated a lot (...) there are many lights and spotlights, but we do it with all our heart and soul. That’s the most beautiful part of the carnival,” said the winner of the 2012 and 2013 events.
Thousands of curious people came to the main avenue to be seduced by the dancing and the carriages covered with papier-mâché.
One of them was Virginia Alvarez, a Uruguayan who, despite residing in the capital, had never attended the colorful parade before.
“It’s very good because there are children and there are all kinds of people dancing and having fun. It’s something different,” the Montevideo-born woman said from behind one of the fences, highlighting the tight security around the event.
On Feb. 7-8, the popular Montevideo neighborhood of Palermo will also host the Llamadas parade, and the first stage of the official carnival competition will begin on Jan. 28 at Teatro de Verano.
The Montevideo Carnival is not only known for its colorful costumes and rhythms, but also for stretching across 40 days, making it the longest-running carnival in the world.