Samba school parades climax Rio Carnival extravaganza
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.