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Posted on 2/24/2009 02:13:00 PM

Rio de Janeiro Carnival: The First Night's Parades

Filed Under () at 2/24/2009 02:13:00 PM

Bubbles, feathers and glitter swirled on the first night of parades in Rio's Carnival, as the city's samba schools battled it out for top honours in what many bill as the world's largest party
Brazilian celebrities and slum dwellers danced alongside each other as some samba schools put on brave faces amid the world financial crisis and replaced cash with creativity and enthusiasm

The first night of parades lasted from Sunday into early Monday morning

Topless Carnival queens, costumed dancers, huge thematic floats and thumping bands march in the city's Sambodrome stadium, and were to return on Monday night, wrapping up the two nights of spectacular processions
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was among the 70,000 people sitting in the venue on the first night, the first time he has attended the Rio shows since taking power in 2003
For locals and tourists alike, the parade extravaganza was an overwhelmingly festive occasion
Many jigged in time to the music while holding cellphones and cameras to take pictures of the samba schools filing past in their annual competition...

..in which timing, props and harmony mattered more to judges than the toned bare flesh being exhibited

The over-the-top flow of feathers, drums, G-strings and four-storey-high mythological and historical figures came with a price, though

Each of the entries cost an estimated two to three million dollars, and took months of preparation

Matthew McConaughey, Camila Alves and Kevin Spacey watched the first night's parades

Embraer, the country's aircraft maker, announced on Carnival's eve it was sacking more than 4,000 workers - the biggest mass lay-off yet announced in Brazil

A member of the of the Beija-Flor samba school parades at the Sambodrome
Academicos do Grande Rio samba school dancers
Academicos do Grande Rio samba school dancers

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Jenalyn on Feb 25, 2009, 10:23:00 PM  

Hi to my former follower.
I love this place. My favorite vocal group, Backstreet Boys, visited Rio de Janeiro because it's included for their world tour to promote their album before. I have seen this place in the video. Cool..