It was like an impromptu Carnival. The Olympic Boulevard, one of the most sought for live sites – in Rio’s Port region- became an open-air celebration on this Sunday, August, 8. People were coming in waves to Praça XV at Praça Mauá. Both Brazilians and foreigners tourists couldn’t decide where to look at first, taking pictures of every attraction. The public was composed by all age groups, even families carrying babies found a way to register the experience.
The Olympic Pyre – set right at the side of Igreja da Candelária -is just one of the many points of interest. Huge high-definition screens, shows, projections, street-artists, musicians, a huge balloon and DJs, were all happening at the same time. The Olympic Boulevard has already become a fan-favorite location for the Olympics enthusiasts.
At Cinelândia, cars, buses and pedestrians crossing Presidente Vargas made it seem like a busy business day. Everything was super-sized, from the balloon to the screens transmitting the judokas fights for the medals. Brazilian flags and t-shirts predominated in the crowd but there were plenty of soccer shirts from popular carioca teams like Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense and Botafogo, as well as from other states, and international ones
There general feeling as of happy peacefulness, which was indeed confirmed by the paramedics at the clinic set in Cinelândia. “We are truly living the Olympic spirit around these parts. The weather is nice and people are calm, content.” declared doctor Isabel Venâncio.
At the food square, there was a great variety of food trucks , where it was possible to find from fast-food – hamburgers, hot dogs, roast beef sandwiches, pizzas-, to regional dishes like “arrumadinho” (bean salad) with carne de sol (beef jerky).
Nearby, a line was forming to see the immense model of Rio made completely out of Lego. It represents 25 of the city’s most iconic locations, and it took almost one million blocks to complete it. The structure will be on display until August 21.
In the middle of the crowd, the sweet notes of a sax rose above the talking voices. The song was “My one and only love”, a standard jazz classic. The musician playing was Aderley Ferreira, who grants the Boulevard a special touch with his music daily. “My repertoire is universal but I play a lot of jazz and Brazilian music, specially from the 80’s” said Aderley.
At another point, a group of seven musicians with woodwinds and percussion instruments played songs from Alceu Valença. The couple Yuri Pinta, 32 and Charlyne Daflon 27, both from Barra had a spark in their eyes as they danced. They commented on how beautiful everything was. “We love dancing to any rhythm, so we’re truly enjoying this. It’s like a big party” affirmed Yuri.