Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo is a 1.7 mile stretch of city street, in the heart of Sao Paulo with touristy places to see and visit.  On Sundays it transforms into a stretch of vendors and booths.  We decided to be there at midnight on New Year’s Eve, which is something my inner self was not comfortable with, but was promised it would just be for a few hours.

Once we arrived, there were wall to wall people looking for the way to enter the street.  We eventually found an entrance that the police had opened up and we went in.  It was person to person and everywhere we went, we were walking like penguins.  Before going, I removed all important papers and credit/debit cards from my wallet, and slid it into one of my front pockets.  As we maneuvered our way into the foray, I kept my thumb on my wallet in my pocket.  My phone was in the other front pocket, and I slid a small flask into my back pocket.  If the flask disappeared, I would know I was pick-pocketed.

We were in the mass of people until midnight when all the eruption takes place.  There was 12 minutes of fireworks, and hooping, hollering and kissing.

On Wednesday morning, City Hall cleaning teams were still working to collect the garbage accumulated on the avenue. Balance showed that 66.5 tons of waste were removed from the site.  That amounts to 133,000 pounds of garbage.

According to the city, New Year’s Eve in Paulista moves tourism and brings more than $R600 million to the city (equal to $150 million US)  $R3 million were invested in the production and infrastructure of the event and employed 2,700 people.

The security of the event included 409 Metropolitan Civil Guard officers and 73 vehicles — cars, motorcycles and mobile community bases.  What really surprised me, was to find out there was an estimated 2 million people there.

Below is a few pictures of the Avenue the day before, as we went there to eat lunch.  Then the wall to wall people on New Year’s Eve. And a few of us after the stroke of 12. As far as I care, once was enough and I can say we been there, done that.  Below are a few pictures that I should have included in the post about the Marine Ball.  The first is a picture of some of our friends who sat with us. And then me and Dani: We will visit again later.  Until then, wrap your arms tight around the next adventure, and kick butt.