Paso de los Libres was the first carnival in the country, with Ingrid Grudke in the front row


The carnival of the city of Corrientes Pass of the Free, also known as the “Border and Integration Carnival”, due to its geographical proximity to Brazil, was the first proper carnival that Argentina knew. And its roots go back to the times of the War of the Triple Alliance.

This year, he got up as early as ever and began on Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th of January. The event was broadcast live on cable channels 2, on air 5 of Telediez and also on the official channel of the carnival on youtube: Municipality of Paso de los Libres.

The parade of comparsas was led by five institutions: Catamarca, Imperatriz, Armonía del Samba, Esplendor and Renacer, and admission to the event was free of charge.

The organization of the free carnivals is in the hands of the Municipality, through the Carnival Directorate, but has the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Nation.

In addition to having the exclusive rhythm of the best drummers in the country -several musicians from Corrientes went to Paso de los Libres in the 1960s to learn how to set up a Carnival-, the city that is an obligatory step to enter Brazil, has its own carnival personality.

Paso de los Libres Carnival

“Between the Carnival of Corrientes and that of Paso de los Libres there is a great difference in terms of music and styles,” says the Secretary of Tourism and Sports of the city of Corrientes, Juan Enrique Braillard Poccard.

“In Paso de los Libres it is all Samba Enredo (as in Brazil) and no wind instruments are used. On the other hand, in the carnival of the capital of Corrientes winds can be seen in most of the comparsas, and many popular songs with adapted lyrics are used, ”explains the official.

During the first years, the float parade was on Avenida Colón. The Muñeca Da Costa Sambadrome changed the landscape of the Carnival in Paso de los Libres

With comparsas older than its neighbor, the city of Uruguayan, in BrazilPaso de los Libres is another carnival temple from Corrientes.

Of course, other cities in the province also add efforts and achievements to be able to compete: Santo Tomé, Esquina, Bella Vista, MercedesMonte Caseros, Santa Lucía, Goya, Curuzú Cuatía, Empedrado and San Luis del Palmar.

GoyaWithout going any further, he had the first ecological comparsas from the country.

Paso de los Libres Carnival

The oldest troupe -as it is understood today- in Argentina is carumbecreated in 1948.

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she was followed thump-thump (1955), which had the first samba school Argentina (comparseros call the “scolas” “battery”, a good example of metonymy), winner of several awards for several years in a row.

In 1955, Paso de los Libres also had the first children’s troupe in the country, zumzunitos. And a year later, Carumbecitos appeared and much later, Leoncitos de Tradición (2004). It is necessary to clarify that Carumbé and Zum Zum are iron competitivealthough the rest of the year everyone shares beers in a bar on Calle Colón.

    Paso de los Libres-Uruguayana
be a city in border with brazil was decisive in the influence of rhythms, dances and aesthetics of the Carnival in Paso de los Libres.

Over the years, the Brazilian carnival bug bit everyone and the groups multiplied: Catamarca (1986), Imperatriz (1998), Asociación Tradición (2001), Armonía del Samba (2003), Renacer Libreño (2011) and Esplendor (2012).

During the first decades of the mid-20th century, Colón Street, the main street in Paso de los Libres, was the scene of open-air parades, when the Muñeca Da Costa Sambadrome “to enjoy the show”.

Today, Zum Zum, Carumbé and Catamarca are the ones that take over the sambadrome.

Of course, other groupings that over time did not last: Kismet, which belonged to Club Atlético Guaraní; Pirulín, from the Barraca Social and Sports Club; San Martín, Los Andes, Unidos del Yatay also had their years of presence in the free carnivals.

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The Carnival of Paso de los Libres, it is fair to say, is one of the most anticipated celebrations of the year on the Argentine coast.
Over the years, of course, the big troupes found their own echo in the new neighborhood troupes, such as Catamarca and Tradición.

Pass of the Free

Willing to be a pioneer in everything related to this social practice, Paso de los Libres was the first city to have a thematic museum, the First Carnival Museum in Northeast Argentina.

A sign of trajectory and recognition is the number of figures that sponsor the Paso de los Libres Carnival. First on the list, the model Indrid Grudke that, although she is not from Corrientes but from a missionary (Oberá), she wears samba under her skin and almost every year, since 2009, she is the first figure in the box, among the VIP attendees.

Hernán Drago, Ximena Capristo and her husband Gustavo Conti, and the model Carolina Baldini are other figures who publicly support the Carnival of the libreseños.

Paso de los Libres the first Argentine carnival

The first record of the Carnival of Paso de los Libres is from 1879. Organized by neighbors with the monetary help of the Municipality, it had a modest troupe that paraded down Colón street.

From the beginning it had a culturally inclusive stamp and for connoisseurs the musical influences of the Guarani and Afro-Brazilian cultures were very clear.

Inheritors of African roots, the murgas also appeared with their own color in the middle of the 20th century and at first they were only made up of men who sang lined up behind the banner that identified them.

There appeared the Murga Yurú Peté, Carboneros y Boteros, Amor y Fuerza, Murga Los Locos de la Ciudad, Los Napolitanos, Las Marineritas, Unión Juventud de Artistas and the Guild Los Hijos de la Noche.

When the lights of the Libres carnival begin to go out, the good memories remain, reinforced by the distribution of prizes in various categories: Drums, Samba Enredo, Clothing, Front Commission, Flag Bearer, Enredo Dance Group, Queens and Godmothers Drums; Allegories and Highlights.

A great encouragement to take a deep breath and have a new goal: Carnival 2024.

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