In Brazil, they celebrate Carnival, which is legendary when it comes to cultural celebrations. In Las Vegas, they will celebrate the culture at the Vegas Loves Brazil festival on April 13, 2013 at the Clark County Amphitheater.
“We are bringing a smaller version of Brazil’s Carnival to Las Vegas. It’s going to be a great party” says festival organizer and co-founder, Ramon van Meer. The festival organizers promise the event will be something not to be missed and will appeal to everyone and anyone of all ages, genders and cultures. “We want to create a melting pot where everyone can get together and have a good time while experiencing all the fun things the Brazilian culture has to offer. We want this to be something everyone will look forward to when we do it again next year” says van Meer.
Originally, van Meer and his festival business partner and co-founder Cliff started throwing impromptu, smaller Vegas Loves Brazil events at local Las Vegas parks. The advertising was done mainly to friends and acquaintances through Facebook. “More and more people started showing interest in seeing something on a larger scale so we decided to go for it” says van Meer. In order to grow the Vegas Loves Brazil festival to eventually meet the same proportions of their counterparts in San Diego and New York City, the organizers will bring in notably, famous artists from Brazil. Their first guest will be Ninha, the former singer of the famous band Timbalada, that is know best for their carnival type of music.
This year will be the first of what the folks at Vegas Loves Brazil hope to become an annual Las Vegas tradition. Brazilian Festivals are an up and coming phenomenon. New York City hosts the annual Brazilian Day street festival which brings in over a million attendees each year. A similar event in San Diego attracts over 77,000 participants and continues to grow each year. “Las Vegas is the perfect city to have a Brazilian Festival in. There is a large and growing Brazilian and Latin community, its very diverse in nature and more and more Brazilian tourist are visiting Las Vegas every year. The city has everything in place to host one of the largest Brazilian festivals in the country” says van Meer.
Music and dancing have always played a huge role in the Brazilian culture. Samba is most always affiliated with the nation of Brazil. The UNLV Samba Percussion group will proudly provide the festivals pounding heartbeat under the program’s music director Kurt Rasmussen. Samba dancing will also be integrated into the mix of the percussion’s creating an atmosphere one might only find in Rio.
Capoeira is a traditional Brazilian dance that combines martial arts with dancing and music. It is said to have been started sometime in the 16th century. The Capoeira Mandinga Las Vegas will be performing the centuries old dance style which for many attending the festival will be a first time introduction into this unique, traditional Brazilian art form.
Vegas Loves Brazil will also feature and highlight some of the best Brazilian cuisine in Las Vegas. Various Brazilian food vendors will be scattered throughout the property offering their versions of Brazil’s unique palate of meats and vegetables. Brazilian restaurant chain, Texas de Brazil will also be onsite sharing samples of their cuisine. In addition to overdosing on food, those attendees of legal drinking age can sample popular Brazilian drinks including the caipirinha. “It’s similar to the popular mojito drink, but better” says van Meer. A few popular Brazilian beers as well as some American classics will also be making an appearance though out the event. Nonalcoholic beverages will also be available.
Kids of all ages will have no problems finding fun and exciting things to do. An array of bounce castles, face painting and pony rides will be available to keep the kids entertained throughout the day. In addition, the organizers are putting together basketball games and soccer games for everyone wanting to participate.