Carnaval in Austin is one of the biggest Brazilian carnaval celebrations outside Brazil – samba, costumes and wild abandon – Brasileiro style in the heart of Texas.
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Coming up soon:  February 1, 2014

Held at the Palmer Events Center. Click here for directions.

This is a non-smoking facility. WE WILL HAVE A COAT CHECK.


Post your personal Carnaval photos! Go here: Carnaval Austin Fan Page on Facebook

Posters now available online.
Click the Store button above.

Are You a Carnaval Virgin? Read this:
The following is an excerpt from what has to be the best Carnaval “fan site” we have seen, produced with much love by Dana…lots of great photos and personal stories…to see the whole thing, click here. But this sums up what this thing is all about. We couldn’t have said it better.

“I heard a lot of stuff from folks this year about Carnaval and their reasons for not going, and it seemed to have a common theme of “fear of debauchery” or like this was some sort of giant ORGY or something where everyone is doing body shots and rolling about on the floor in a drunken or drug-filled haze. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH…I want to go on record saying that Carnaval is

  1. some of the safest, best fun I have all year
  2. one of the HEALTHIEST things I do for myself all year
  3. an opportunity to dance and laugh with some of the nicest total strangers I could ever hope to meet
  4. one of the biggest creative outlets I have on ALL KINDS of levels.

So, basically, if you’re not going to Carnaval, I sure don’t know why. If you’re afraid to go alone, find a friend to go with. Heck, Mac showed up as a surprise totally by himself. Sondra, Lane and I gave him some beads and later he was spotted in a conga line, having a great time. You don’t need a costume, you don’t need to drink, you only need to come with an open mind and happy feet and a willingness to let your spirit soar for a few hours. You only have from 9pm until 2am, when they turn the lights on, so it’s this brief trip into another world. I guarantee you’ll leave there with a happy heart and enough stored up mojo to get you through another month or so of winter – maybe until the bluebonnets perk up. Personally, Carnaval juice carries me through all kinds of rough times all year long. I think I speak for my “posse” when I say they feel the same way.”

So, if you’ve never been to Carnaval, you should check it our for yourself. Carnaval is a positive experience and is NOT what some people seem to think it is.

Great Hotel Deal:
Check out the Holiday Inn-Town Lake’s special Carnaval rate of only $109 per night…it’s close to the party, convenient for out-of-town guests and makes the drive home safer for everyone! Click here for information.

Like Drums?
We have added an interesting dissection of Rio’s samba school drum sections, the baterias, explaining their makeup, their role in the parade, etc. Complete with photos and sound! Click here.

Share Your Carnaval Experience:
Share favorite Carnaval stories with us, no matter how wild, insane or embarrassing. We know couples have met at Carnaval and later gotten married, lifelong friendships born, etecetera. Maybe you braved the icestorm of 1989 or the snow and sleet of 1980. Fill us in with the details. You can sign them if you wish, or remain anonymous. But send us an email at click here and we will compile the best and post them on this site to share with others. Bring it on!

Here is a sample:
A Five-Star Review from Yelp, posted by Keri B:

I know it’s an event but it’s annual sooo, if anyone is curious about this party and does a little research here, let me shed some light (it’s okay, I won’t illuminate the darkest corners!). Imagine if a gay bar Halloween party and a strip club Halloween party were to have a baby….no, imagine if Mardi Gras had a super sexy, blatantly flirtatious Latino cousin…..no, imagine that dream you have with all the sexy demons and angels and they all want to have sex with you. Yeah, put all that together and you can get an idea.
I’ve been going to this party for almost 15 years and I never get tired of it. Not only is it about the costumes and the flirting, but it’s also about the incredible music. Every year they get a nationally known Brazilian Samba band to play the stage, but lately they have also used Austin’s own Academicos da Opera which I think is even better cause they get right down on the floor in a huge drum circle. This music is intoxicating (which is great cause it’s damn hard to get a drink here—lines too long). You cannot stop dancing and at the end of the night you get that all over warm body relaxation that you get after a great workout or even better sex.

But if you are an exhibitionist or a voyeur or if you are not afraid of a large crowd of these, then this is your party. To get anywhere in the crowd, you have to get in a conga line and next thing you know, you are swept away with a bunch of fun-loving strangers to god knows where. And costumes! I am always awed by the work that goes into this event. From feathers and beads to leather and chains. Drag queens and dominatrixes. Fairies and well, fairies. Body painting to body stockings. It’s all here and it doesn’t mind being seen and photographed and danced with. Sigh. I always have a bit of post-Carnaval depression.

So, don’t be scared. You are really missing out if you let your fears hold you back. True of Carnaval and of life.