Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rio Fire Destroys Carnaval Floats & Costumes

A sad scene. (HT AP)

Pictured above is the overhead photo of a warehouse fire in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. What makes this news is that the warehouse contained floats & costumes for this years carnaval, the event of the year unless the world cup is in progress. From the Associated Press:

"A fire Monday gutted warehouses holding many of the elaborate, feather-and-sequin costumes and extravagant floats for Rio's Carnival parade, destroying the dreams and hard work of thousands of mostly poor Brazilians who toil year-round to stage one of world's most spectacular celebrations.

Seamstresses, set designers and musicians watched in tears as firefighters struggled to control the blaze that raged through four warehouses. The fire devoured about 8,400 outfits and the ornate sets built each year in the battle to be the city's top samba group.

Three hours into the early-morning blaze, the flames were controlled and 10 warehouses were unscathed, but some of the top contenders and up-and-comers in next month's Carnival parade were knocked out of the competition.

"Do you know what it feels like to work all day, into the night, to make this happen, and then this?" asked Graziela Goncalves Carvalho, a seamstress with Uniao da Ilha do Governador, one of the groups that appeared to have suffered heavy losses. "It's over. There's nothing. This Carnival is over for us."

Carnival is a time when Rio's residents and more than 700,000 visitors pour into the streets for a cathartic, nearly weeklong party where order is subverted and the poorest climb the highest floats dressed scantily in glitter and feathers, parading before the eyes of the world. The revelry culminates in the two-day competitive parade of the elite groups, and ends on Ash Wednesday, when order is restored."

This year, the Carnival will literally have to rise from the ashes. I hope this can happen, to bring the joy back in their nation.

Background Intel:

Associated Press: Fire in Rio destroys Carnival costumes and floats

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