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Samba school parades climax Rio Carnival extravaganza

Published on Feb 11, 2013 5:57 AM
Revellers from Paraiso do Tuiuti samba school dance during the second night of the A Group annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome Feb 9, 2013. The samba school which wins the A Group will parade with the top samba groups at the Special Group performance in 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Top samba schools take centre stage at the Sambodrome late Sunday, set to dazzle crowds with giant allegorical floats and scantily-dressed beauty queens in a fiery climax to the famed Rio Carnival.

Over the next two nights, 12 schools will showcase their mesmerizing allegorical pageantry before a global television audience, the highlight of a five-day extravaganza.

Their floats are packed with dancers wearing huge headgear, feathers, sequins, body paint - and little else.

The fierce contest for the title of Brazil's Carnival champion is watched with the same fervor as football matches in this soccer-mad nation.

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