After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Festa do Peão de Barretos (SP) was held again. Since last Thursday (18), the town has once again been invaded by a suitably dressed crowd, eager to enjoy the traditional “bara, drip and rocket” at the event, the largest and most traditional rodeo in the country. Organizers expect Parque do Peão to receive around 900,000 visitors by the closing date, next Sunday (28).
Although spectators are officially focused on watching climbers drop and drink their feet to the sound of country singers’ costumes, the campaign for these 10 days is already being felt. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the same place takes party candidates, in order to interact with the crowd of cowboys and pedestrians. The most awaited is President Jair Bolsonaro (PL). His visit to Baritau is scheduled for next Friday (26th).
On Saturday (20), his son Eduardo Bolsonaro was at the event and, in his Instagram Stories, posted photos of the crowded stalls and arenas (can seat 50,000 spectators together), with the caption: “Out of every 10 people here, 22 are Bolsonaro” – at a game The words on his father’s number.
“Bolsonaro has always been a democrat”
If, in 2019, Bolsonaro, when he walked on horseback in the arena designed by Communist Oscar Niemeyer, was unanimous among the party’s participants, in 2022 his name began to encounter resistance in this environment that has always supported him.
Even in the absence of Parque de Biao, the president has ended up being present in the party through former Environment Minister Ricardo Salles, who is trying to get elected as a federal deputy by the PL party. He was called to greet the audience and took the opportunity to glorify agriculture and green and yellow Brazil. As soon as he mentioned Bolsonaro’s name, several people stood in the stands and applauded him. Others booed and insulted loudly.
Upon leaving the arena, Salis spoke with Tab. He stated that interaction with the public was excellent and said he doubted the opinion polls that put the president behind Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (PT).
“These numbers do not correspond to what we see on the streets, where Bolsonaro is very well received, while Lula needs to scrap the agendas to avoid being harassed,” he said. Regarding the boos, Salles said, “Democracy works this way. Everyone has their own opinion. And President Bolsonaro has always been a democrat, unlike the false narratives you try to stick to him.”
On the second night of the party, which featured performances by Wesley Savadao, Jorge, Matthews and Pedro Sampaio in the arena, the governor of São Paulo, Rodrigo Garcia (PSDB), who is running for re-election, was expected to arrive. The agenda was canceled due to the commitment of the Toucan Campaign in São José do Rio Preto (SP).
However, the public was not deprived of the company of the organizers of the polls. The Festa de Barretos is indistinguishable from the political and ideological orientations of its visitors. Every politician is free to go there and interact with the attendees. But in practice, it is very difficult to find left-wing candidates walking around the event.
Politicians on the spectrum running from the center to the right are more frequent. Some even produce specific materials to hand out at the park’s entrance—the campaign newspaper case for Federal Rep. Capitao Augusto and state candidate Dani Alonso (both from PL), which can be seen strewn around the stands Thursday night. (18).
On Friday (19), when the audience in the park was much larger, Gotto Zacharias and Cristiano Peraldo, of União Brazil, took the opportunity to hand out saints, greet people, record videos and enjoy the ceremony. Wearing cowboy hats, the two candidates for the position of Militant Deputy of the Free Brazil Movement (MBL) flew along with federal MP Kim Katagoire.
On the stage of Amanhecer, duo Gian & Giovanni paid tribute to the late João Mineiro & e Marciano, in front of thousands of spectators. A few meters away, the MBL trio decided to confront the “wrath” of a mechanical bull. When asked how long he stood on the machine without falling off, Katagiri smiled. In the end, the photographer claims that the time was less than ten seconds – which already guarantees the rating in the rodeo.
According to Katagiri, the contacts made during the party were positive. “Because it’s a rodeo, I imagined I would find a more Bolsonaro public image, which you might even want to antagonize us. But it’s all right. I feel like people reject the radicalism of Bolsonaro and the Labor Party,” he said.
“If he goes up to the sidewalk, get down”
All worked in pawn uniforms, Federal Representative Luis Miranda, who transferred his title from the Federal District to São Paulo, enjoyed the party in the company of friends and supporters. He is best known on YouTube for his channel, which has more than 630,000 subscribers and offers advice on how to make a living in the US – and most recently, for denouncing wrongdoing in buying the Covaxin vaccine from Covid CPI.
Despite his association with the Republicans, a party that supports Bolsonaro, Miranda doesn’t even want to know how close she is to the president. “If he goes up to the podium, I go down,” says the parliamentarian who criticizes the economic policy adopted by Minister Paulo Guedes. “There is no way to stand with a government that has dollarized prices in the country, and left people to die of hunger,” he says.
Among the party’s audience, the economic issue appears to be crucial in increasing Bolsonaro’s disapproval. Thiago da Silva Santos, 27, is a Barrettos resident and working in the event for the first time. When asked about the president, he said: “Terrible. The prices of everything, especially fuel, have gone up.”
Saleswoman Valeria Valesca de Souza Silva, 30, came from São Sebastião, on the coast of São Paulo, to Baritos. I was moved by the presentation given by Andraos Araujo Lima (Coyabano, known for being a staunch supporter of Bolsonaro) the night before, when the presenter paid tribute to the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The energy that the narrator gives is remarkable,” he says. When I learned Bolsonaro would be visiting the party on the 26th, I responded with an exclamation point: “Mercy!”
Friend Daiara Gonzaga Faria, 35, is also against the PL candidate “I’m against Bolsonaro and I’d prefer he not come. But with that, I’ll continue to enjoy the event, which is great,” he says.
But not all rodeo fans have given up on Bolsonaro. The pedestrian realm continues to be an important core of his electoral base. Upon learning that the president will visit Barrettos in the coming days, businessman Marcos Batista, 35, celebrated. “I’m even thinking about going back next week,” he said.
His colleague Rodrigo Lopez, 35, a businessman and resident of Osasco (SP), is suspicious of polls showing Bolsonaro behind Lula in the presidential race. He said that “the events of the seventh of September will show his strength.”
Cayo Nascimento da Silva, 27, believes the federal government’s assessment is influenced by the time the captain took over the presidency – a period, he says, “marked by a pandemic and war.” “All geopolitical factors are interfering with his performance,” said the nurse, who lives in Barra Mansa (RJ) and votes for Bolsonaro because of the candidate’s “honest” style. “He says what he thinks. The problem is that sometimes the truth bothers some people.”
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