As Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival celebrations kicked off on Saturday, dozens of dogs dressed as mermaids, superheroes, butterflies and clowns paraded alongside their owners in one of the city’s most beloved canine street parties.
The Blocao – a play on words that joins “bloco”, which refers to Carnival street parties, and “cao”, or “dog” in Portuguese – gathered more than 200 people in Rio’s beachside Barra de Tijuca area on Saturday morning.
On a small stage in the middle of a leafy square, pups of all sizes and breeds strutted and wagged their tails.
Organisers announced the contestants over a microphone, as confetti rained down.
Scooby Doo, a bully-type pit monster, was a crowd-pleaser as a lion with an unruly golden mane.
“He’s an influencer,” said his owner Helena Ribeiro, 32, who wore a red shirt emblazoned with a Heinz ketchup label. Pacoca’s costume, she said, was inspired by his breed. “It suits him.”
“Amora is our daughter; we are a family. We go everywhere together,” Ms Myrele told the Associated Press. “Here, everybody is crazy in love with dogs.”
Channelling Rio’s ubiquitous ice tea hawkers – a staple of the city’s beaches – Charlotte, a three-year-old border collie mix, wore an orange outfit and carried two miniature tin kegs on her back.
The pups and their owners braved searing temperatures to take part in the bloco. Organisers distributed water and goodie bags with treats, as canine participants panted in the shade.
Following the costume competition, the bloco began to weave around the square as dog lovers and their pets swayed and shimmied to the rhythm of Brazilian pop classics.
“For dog parents, it’s a way for us to have fun,” said Daniely Mendes. “It brings our community together.”