Third Annual Brazilian Festival Hits Pompano Beach

Ellen Oléria, landslide winner of The Voice Brazil.
Ellen Oléria, landslide winner of The Voice Brazil.

Brazil has been getting all the good gigs lately.

It got this past World Cup (even though the team was brutalized by the German squad, the nation still reaped in the bucks) and are looking forward to hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. And now, for the third year in the row, Brazilians are planning to take over Pomapano Beach for a massive celebration of their homeland. And it's not surprising, seeing how Pompano and Deerfield Beach have large communities of the country's expats.

This festival is as much an ambassador of the culture as it is a celebration of roots for Broward's large Brazilian contingent; it is an opportunity to explore the finest the large South American nation has to offer. And Brazil has plenty, from mouth-watering feijoadas to risqué and fun Carnaval dancers. This is the same country that gave the world Marcel Camus' classic Orfeu Negro and Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund's gripping Cidade de Deus.

Musical treasures like Elis Regina, Tom Jobim, Os Mutantes, and Sepultura. And don't get us started on all-time greats like Didi, Garrincha, or Canhotinha de ouro Gérson and O Rei Pelé!

This year, event coordinators are expecting a crowd in the vicinity of ten thousand people at the Pompano Beach Community Park. It'll be transformed into a "Brazilian Paradisiac Island." Attendees will enjoy many of Brazil's famous musical genres like samba, MPB, and bossa nova.

The opening musical act will be the women's percussion band, Maria Vai Casoutras, hailing from the capital of Brasilia. As the first all-female drum ensemble, they have been very successful with a repertoire of music geared towards rhythm and dance with elements of forró and axé.

The first confirmed attraction will be Ellen Oléria, who was voted by millions (millions!) of Brazilians to be the winner of their version of the reality TV show The Voice. Popular musician Carlinhos Brown said, "She is a voice that cures." These early accolades are pushing her into a sacred pantheon of females singers populated by the likes of Maria Bethânia, Gal Costa, Fafá de Belém, and Daniela Mercury, among many others.

Other attractions during the festival include a kid's zone, food vendors, karaoke and exhibitors highlighting traditional Brazilian Rodizio, churrasco, vatapa, pao de queijo e pastel, brigadeiros, cicadas, and doce de leite e Pamonha. According to the fest, "This is the taste of the Brazilian cuisine featured by all the small businesses of Broward in tents especially created to offer a dream day in Brazil's 'tasteland.'"

The City of Pompano Beach has embraced its Brazilian citizenry and has taken up the initiative of proclaiming Pompano the "official" Brazilian capital of Florida. That's a savvy political move, right?

The Third Annual Brazilian Festival of Pompano Beach from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, November 22, at the Pompano Beach Community Park, 820 NE 18 Ave., Pompano Beach. This event is free. Call 305-803-0338, or visit brazilianfestpompano.com.

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