Simpatia é Quase Amor was the highlight of this pre-Carnival Saturday. Thousands of revelers got together to participate in the event along Ipanema Beach. Simpatia has a loyal following, and the rehearsals happen at nightclubs around Rio. The theme changes every year, just like in a samba school.
This first parade of 2009 happened on a partly cloudy day but the weather was summer-hot and melted the inhibitions away. A curious home-made mix of vodka and fruit juices or soda competed with the always popular beer... Simpatia attracts a mixture of Cariocas and visitors of all ages, but the bulk of the participants are in their late teens or early twenties. The cruisy atmosphere is a direct result of this powerful combination of hormones.
If you missed this one there's another chance to participate on Carnival Sunday. Last year they marched in the morning to avoid overcrowding, so keep an eye in the newspapers for the latest news about the schedule for 2009.