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The spirit of Carnival returns to Fort Lauderdale this weekend at the 10th annual Brazilian Festival.
The festival on the sands of Fort Lauderdale Beach Park south of Las Olas Boulevard runs from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18-19.
Tickets are $10 and must be purchased online as a COVID safety measure at BrazilianFestival.org. Kids under age 12 are free. Temperature checks, and mandatory use of masks, are required prior to entry.
Music on a concert stage will range from headlining American rock band Smash Mouth (“All Star”) to Brazilian DJ and music producer Bruno Martini, who has worked with Timbaland, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, according to organizers. There will also be a kids zone, a skate ramp exhibition, Brazilian-inspired vendors and international cuisine.
“This year’s festival and our message of global unity has taken on even greater meaning in light of the year we have all endured,” said the founder and organizer of the Brazilian Festival Luciano Sameli.
Rafael da Silva, of Sao Paulo, and his Rio-born wife Mariana, are owners of Cochic restaurant in Deerfield Beach and have participated in the event almost every year and will again this year. Their eatery serves a traditional bite-sized street food called Coxinha along with other Brazilian-American inspired dishes.
“The festival just brings the community together, it brings the music, it brings the flavors, it brings the people. Sometimes that’s what we needed to make our community stronger. Being part of that always has been an amazing experience,” said Rafael da Silva.
Broward County and Miami-Dade County together are home to the second largest community of Brazilian-born residents in the United States, behind only Los Angeles County, according to migrationpolicy.org.
The festival had long been hosted in Pompano Beach before a dispute prompted organizers to move the event to Fort Lauderdale in 2020.
“We are proud to strengthen Broward County, and grateful for the local support,” said Sameli. “I am confident this year’s festival will be our best yet.”