Carnival in Rio hits climax in Sambadrome

20:07, Mar 04 2014
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A reveller of the Imperio da Tijuca samba school participates in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome.
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Revellers of the Imperio da Tijuca samba school participates in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome.
Carnival2014 - 1
Revellers of the Imperio da Tijuca samba school participates in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome.
Carnival2014 - 1
Revellers of the Imperio da Tijuca samba school participates in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome.
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Actress Christiane Torloni dances as Drum Queen of the Grande Rio samba school in the annual Carnival parade.
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Revellers of the Imperio da Tijuca samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome.
Carnival2014 - 1
Revellers of the Imperio da Tijuca samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome.
Carnival2014 - 1
Revellers of the Grande Rio samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade.
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Members of Imperio da Tijuca samba school get ready prior to their entrance as part of the 2014 Brazilian Carnival at Sapucai Sambadrome.
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Members of Imperio da Tijuca samba school get ready prior to their entrance as part of the 2014 Brazilian Carnival at Sapucai Sambadrome.
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Queen of Percussion Laynara Teles of Imperio da Tijuca Samba School celebrates during the closing parade of the day at 2014 Brazilian Carnival at Sapucai Sambadrome.
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Members of Imperio da Tijuca Samba School celebrate during the closing parade of the day at 2014 Brazilian Carnival at Sapucai Sambadrome.
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Rio's two nights of Carnival parades begin on March 2 in a burst of fireworks and to the cheers of thousands of tourists and locals who have previously enjoyed street celebrations (known as "blocos de rua") all around the city.
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Members of Imperio da Tijuca Samba School celebrate during the closing parade of the day at 2014 Brazilian Carnival at Sapucai Sambadrome
Carnival2014 - 1
Members of Imperio da Tijuca Samba School celebrate during the closing parade of the day at 2014 Brazilian Carnival at Sapucai Sambadrome
Carnival2014 - 1
Queen of Percussion Laynara Teles of Imperio da Tijuca Samba School celebrates during the closing parade of the day at 2014 Brazilian Carnival at Sapucai Sambadrome.

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions of people in raucous celebrations.

Hundreds of thousands of merrymakers will take to Rio's streets in the nearly 500 open-air 'bloco' parties that precede one of the world's most infamous festivals.

The event climaxes with various samba schools competing in the annual parade at the Sambadrome.

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