One of the many things I love about Austin is the annual Carnaval Brasilerio festival that goes on every February. It’s a huge Samba party thats been going on for about 30 years now, and it’s pretty much the wildest, craziest and most flamboyant party I’ve ever been to. Begun in the early 1970s to soothe homesick Brazilian students, CARNIVAL has grown into a local institution attracting over 5000 party-goers from all over the United States. The flamboyant sometimes risque, costumes, the driving Brazilian samba, and the uninhibited, spirited atmosphere have earned CARNAVAL its reputation as one of the best and biggest such festivities outside Brazil.
I’ve gone two times before, but I’d missed the last two opportunities due to traveling and working out of the country. This year I was lucky enough to be in the states at just the right time, and there was no way I was going to miss it. I called the people in my circle who I knew would appreciate this kind of a good time, and it didn’t take long at all to find a great group.
Usually my costume for this is a lot of green body paint and a green glittery mask so that I end up as the king of the forest type character. It’s always been a huge hit, but takes forever to scrub all the paint off later, and it usually trashes the shower pretty good. I was staying at my friend Ted’s place this time, so I wanted to go for something a little more low maintenance. Ted and I went by the local costume shop, and I found a sweet purple velvet suit that would be perfect for the evening.
We started out at my friend Kat’s place for a pre party gathering where we could get into the mood with some samba music and a few drinks. After feeling sufficiently lubed up, we headed over to the party and wandered in. The place was rocking when we got there….two samba bands from Brazil were playing on stage, and the dance floor was just packed with people all dancing to the beat. We stayed till they started kicking people out at 2am, and then moved on to an after-party at some guy’s house that we’d met there. The evening continued there till about 4:30 am or so, and we finally headed to bed exhausted but happy.