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Dogs in glittery costumes parade in Rio de Janeiro as pet lovers kick off Carnival

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) 鈥 As Rio de Janeiro鈥檚 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鈥檚 most beloved canine street parties.

The Bloc茫o 鈥 a play on words that joins 鈥渂loco,鈥 which refers to Carnival street parties and 鈥渃茫o,鈥 or dog in Portuguese 鈥 gathered over 200 people in Rio鈥檚 beachside Barra de Tijuca neighborhood on Saturday morning. Clad in tulle and sequins, fluffy fashionistas took part in a contest to choose the day鈥檚 top costumes.

On a small stage in the middle of a leafy square, pups of all sizes and breeds strutted and wagged their tails. Organizers announced the contestants over a microphone, as confetti rained down.

Alana the chihuahua was dressed as a glittery mermaid, Trinde the cocker spaniel as a cape-wearing Hermione, and Bidu the Shih-tzu as a furry Superman. Scooby Doo, a massive pit monster, was a crowd-pleaser as a lion with an unruly golden mane.

A dog wears a headdress during the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb.10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
A dog wears a headdress during the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb.10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
A dog dons an alligator costume during the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
A dog dons an alligator costume during the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Pa莽oca, a 2-year-old dachshund with 100,000 followers on Instagram, paraded as a hot dog 鈥 stuffed in a bun and topped with ketchup and mustard.

鈥淗e鈥檚 an influencer,鈥 said his owner Helena Ribeiro, 32, who wore a red shirt emblazoned with a Heinz ketchup label. Pa莽oca鈥檚 costume, she said, was inspired by his breed. 鈥淚t suits him!鈥

Rodrigo Pirola and Cecilia Myrele, both 39, came dressed as Fred and Wilma Flintstone, matching their 4-year-old basset hound Amora, who wore an orange dress inspired by Pebbles Flintstone.

鈥淎mora is our daughter; we are a family. We go everywhere together,鈥 Myrele told the Associated Press. 鈥淗ere, everybody is crazy in love with dogs.鈥

A dog wears a lion mane headpiece during the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
A dog wears a lion mane headpiece during the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Owners and their costumed pets take part in the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Owners and their costumed pets take part in the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Carolina Eduardo, 27, dressed her 13-year-old sand-colored mutt Rebeca in a Snow White costume, pinning a glossy dark wig between her ears as 鈥渢he cherry on top.鈥

Channeling Rio鈥檚 ubiquitous ice tea hawkers 鈥 a staple of the city鈥檚 beaches 鈥 Charlotte, a 3-year-old border collie mix, wore an orange outfit and carried two miniature tin kegs on her back.

鈥淚 love Carnival, I love parties,鈥 said her owner, Veronica Beck, 47, as fellow dog lovers snapped pictures of Charlotte. 鈥淚t鈥檚 this moment of joy. And it鈥檚 a way to celebrate this with our dogs. Because they also bring such joy to our lives.鈥

Revelers pet a costumed dog during the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Revelers pet a costumed dog during the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
A dog named Alana rests during the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb.10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
A dog named Alana rests during the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb.10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

The pups and their owners braved searing temperatures to take part in the bloco. Organizers distributed water and goodie bags with treats, as canine participants panted in the shade, their tongues hanging out.

鈥淭his year, the heat is not making it easy for us,鈥 said organizer Marco Antonio Veira, known as 鈥淭oto.鈥 He noted a major concern was the overheating asphalt, which could scald paws. 鈥淲e have to preserve the well-being of the animals.鈥

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.

Pet owners stand around a dog with a doll attached to its back, during the "Blocao" dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Pet owners stand around a dog with a doll attached to its back, during the 鈥淏locao鈥 dog Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Twin sisters Daniely and Flavia Mendes, both 43, were among the revelers, singing along with the crowd. They have been taking part in the bloco nearly every year for the past decade and, on Saturday, they brought their identical Shih-tzus, one dressed as Superman and the other clad in a colorful, hand-made clown costume.

鈥淔or dog parents, it鈥檚 a way for us to have fun,鈥 said Daniely Mendes. 鈥淚t brings our community together.鈥