Traditionally, the Brazilian Day festival (BR Day NY) takes place on the Sunday before Labor Day. This year, it wouldn’t be different. The biggest Brazilian party in New York is scheduled for September 3rd, from 11am to 6pm at 6th Avenue and 46th Street.

However, a kick-off party on Saturday, September 2nd, will warm up the public for the big day. Little Brazil (46th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues) will be closed to receive an event that will highlight elements of the Brazilian culture, such as samba, capoeira, MMA and others.

The party will start with a samba parade that will depart from Times Square at 11am towards Little Brazil with a group of people wearing typical customs, playing and dancing. The famous samba parade in Rio de Janeiro is something everybody should experience at least once in their lives. But if you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Rio during Carnival, that’s a chance to have a small taste.

The samba parade is organized by the Brazilian Council on Samba, under the direction of the Rio de Janeiro native Carlos De Oliveira. Brazilian Council on Samba is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support artists and organizations to represent and promote the history and culture of samba. Carlos De Oliveira, also known as Caco, teaches Brazilians and Americans how to play samba instruments.

After the parade, the public will enjoy presentations of Capoeira, Maculelê and MMA.

Capoeira, very well-known globally, is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music. Maculelê, less known internationally, but equally important as a typical element of the Brazilian culture, is a dance where participants hold two sticks in their hands while they are performing.

Both arts will be presented by Jelon Vieira, a Brazilian choreographer and teacher, who lives in New York and has been recognized as pioneer in presenting to audiences around the world the Afro-Brazilian art and dance. He is the founder of the organizations Capoeira Luanda and Dance Brazil.

Jelon will be joined by other capoeira ‘mestres’ and invite the public to interact by participating in the classes they will teach during the kick-off.

Lastly the public will enjoy a presentation of MMA or mixed martial arts, a full-contact combat sport that allows both striking and grappling, both standing and on the ground, using techniques from other combat sports and martial arts.

The sport will be presented by members of the famous Gracie Family, a prominent martial arts family from Brazil known for their development of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). They have been successful in combat sport competitions including mixed martial arts and ‘vale tudo’. Since 1925, over 40 members of the Gracie Family have dedicated their lives to the practice and dissemination of the techniques and philosophy of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, making it the largest family of athletes in the world.

The Brazilian Day Kick-Off will be a unique opportunity to see all these great talents and learn a little more about the Brazilian culture. Everything for free.

The Brazilian Day Kick-Off is co-produced by João de Matos, founder of Brazilian Day New York, Jelon Vieira and Carlos De Oliveira. From 11am, on Saturday, September 2nd, at Little Brazil (46th Street).