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article imageRio de Janeiro's Carnival Parade Draws to a Close

By Digital Journal Staff     Mar 5, 2003 in Lifestyle
Rio de Janeiro's famed Carnival parade has drawn to a close with thousands of sequined and feathered revelers partying into early Tuesday.
Despite rainy weather, the second and final night of parading opened Monday as a samba school saluted Brazil's national football team. The team set a record last year by winning its fifth World Cup championship.
As the pre-Lenten bash progressed at the city's "Sambadrome" stadium, other samba schools also treated spectators to a nine hour show of music, dancing, singing and floats.
Each samba group comprises about 4,000 people, many of whom spend months rehearsing for the annual Carnival parade.
The groups are judged on several criteria, including music, costumes, originality, floats, and even enthusiasm. The winning group will be announced on Ash Wednesday, when the festivities in Rio and across the country officially end.
The two-day parade is the centerpiece of Brazilian Carnival celebrations and is broadcast across the nation of 170 million people.
This year, the Rio celebrations took place amid a strong security presence. Gang violence last week prompted Brazilian officials to deploy some 30,000 police backed by 3,000 soldiers to the streets.
Even with the heightened security, at least one person was killed and six others injured in violence around the carnival stadium. (voa)
More about Rio de janeiro, Carnival, Arts