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News18 » Lifestyle » Travel
1-min read

Economic Crisis Puts Dent in Rio's New Year Fireworks

Rio de Janeiro's famed New Year's Eve fireworks display will be 25 percent shorter this year because of hard economic times, an official said.

AFP

Updated:December 20, 2016, 3:00 PM IST
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Economic Crisis Puts Dent in Rio's New Year Fireworks
New Year's celebrations at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last year

Rio de Janeiro's famed New Year's Eve fireworks display will be 25 percent shorter this year because of hard economic times, an official said.

The fiery extravaganza for as many as two million people on Copacabana beach has run for 16 minutes in recent years. This time, says city tourism chief Antonio Mello, it will drop to 12 minutes.

"This year there is the crisis and (sponsors) are having difficulties," he said in an interview on Globo television.

Although Rio has found last minute sponsorship for part of the festival, which also features live rock music on the beach, taxpayers will foot a bill of about five million reais ($1.48 million), Mello said.

The city of Rio is struggling in the aftermath of hosting the 2014 football World Cup and this year's Olympics, while the Rio state government is nearly bankrupt.

New Year's and the February carnival are the biggest annual earners for Rio's tourism industry. Mello predicted about 800,000 tourists will come to Rio, with as many as two million people cramming onto Copacabana for the New Year's show.

Although the Rio fireworks fall well short of the Guinness World of Records -- currently a more than one hour show put on in the Philippines at the 2016 New Year -- it is one of the holiday's biggest international highlights.

Mello promised that despite the curtailed event "I don't think it will lose its grandeur. That's still a lot of time for fireworks."

| Edited by: Gurleen Nagpal
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