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Brazil’s carnival ends with gay ball

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Revelers wrapped up Brazil’s wild carnival bash with the popular Gala Gay ball Tuesday night on Rio de Janeiro’s streets, littered with feathers and sequins after five days of partying.

Thousands of onlookers gawked as men in glittering miniskirts, evening dresses, bead-studded lingerie and feathered headdresses shimmied down a wide avenue to the sounds of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” for a party that would last until dawn Wednesday.

After a week that saw everything from a scandal over a planned Holocaust-themed float — later nixed by a judge — to a samba queen’s quest to set a world record for the most plastic surgeries, revelers spent Carnival’s last hours dancing the samba behind street bands.

“It is just impossible to describe it,” 30-year-old Dutch bank worker Alexander Milikan said as he took a break from the festivities on Ipanema beach. “There’s street parties everywhere, everyone’s dancing, it’s amazing.”

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and pre-Easter praying and fasting for the world’s largest Roman Catholic country. But most Brazilians will be glued to their televisions in the afternoon to learn the winner of the centerpiece of Rio’s Carnival: the fiercely competitive Samba parade.

Early favorites included the samba “schools” Unidos de Tijuca, Grande Rio and Beija Flor, which has won four of the past five years but had its reputation marred by accusations that directors conspired to steal last year’s championship by intimidating judges. An investigation yielded an inconclusive report.

“They tried to disqualify our parade in 2007, but we have shown that we have won in the most dignified manner possible,” Beija Flor’s director, who uses the single name Laila, told a booing crowd before the group’s parade got started early Tuesday.

Jeers gave way to applause, however, as the group paraded opulent floats, ornate costumes and a topless beauty queen. Its dancers were encrusted in gold and wore masks and wings, in an allusion to ancient legends of the Amazon rain forest.

Actresses Lucy Liu and Monica Bellucci were among the international celebrities attending this year’s Rio parade, and supermodel Naomi Campbell showed up for Carnival in the coastal city of Salvador.

Brazil Carnaval gay 2008













Rio Carnaval has become world-famous through the Samba Parade, a show, display and competition of the Rio samba schools. The two major days are Carnival Sunday and Monday. Only miss them if you can’t afford to go. In that case you can go on some other day, which are significantly cheaper and also give you a good idea of the samba schools´ performance. Second best option is the Champions´ Parade on Saturday, followed by the Access Group parading on Carnival Friday. See photos
There are 5 different parades in the Sambodromo.

1. Samba Schools in the Special Group
Sunday, February 3rd and Monday, February 4th – See time-table
This is the THE Parade, the high-point of the Rio Carnival. The must-see show which has made Rio de Janeiro the Carnival Capital of the world. All the Carnival world revolves around these two nights.
The schools belonging to this group are especially magnificent and sumptuous.
The two nights are similar in terms of set-up. 6 of the best 12 samba schools march on both Sunday and Monday. Choose the one which best fits into your schedule.
Doors open at 17:.00, opening ceremony at 20:00, parades start at 21:.00.
Rehearsals – The schools’ 2008 samba songs

2. Champions Parade
Saturday, February 9th – See time-table
Starts at 21.00 but a small Italian school already parades at 20:.00
The 6 best samba schools of the Special Group, from Sunday and Monday, parade in all their splendor once more, with fireworks.
{Beautiful, too however much quieter and cheaper than the principal competition days on Sunday and Monday. {This is the second best parade.}

3. Samba Schools in the Access Group (Group A)
Saturday, February 2nd , starts at 21:00
There are 10 large and important samba schools in this group, ranking after the best 12 schools in the Special Group. The champion of this parade ascends to the Special Group. See Photos

4. Samba Schools in Group “B”
Tuesday, February 5th, starts at 21:00
It is also called the base group, from which the big schools originated. They are small, each school having approximately 1,500 participants. Nevertheless they also parade with much vigor to defend their status. {Rather go to the Champions´ Parade or Access Group.}

5. Children’s Samba Schools
Friday, February 1st, 19:00 (doors open at 17:00)
They are branches of the big samba schools, formed by children of each community.
Their parade follows the procedure of the big schools.

2008 RIO CARNIVAL BALLS
Rio de Janeiro, as the City of Carnival, offers a selection of Carnival balls you really should not miss. You won’t have to spend a fortune to have a great time. Tickets to most balls will cost you around R$30 to R$50 ($15-20) and are available on the door. Exceptions are the two most famous ones in the luxury hotels Copacabana Palace and Gloria. Other great balls are in Rio Scala. Clube dos Caiçaras and the Hard Rock Cafe’s Kid’s Folia also organize animated costume balls for adults and children. There are more theme balls city-wide e.g. balls for singles etc.
Costumes are not mandatory, with the exception of a few balls. Putting on one will help you get in the right mood and will make the night even more special, though. Bear in mind however that Rio is the capital of Carnival and costume standards are very high.
A true Carnival ball features live music and samba rules the floors. The percussion groups are full of vigor and can be just as loud as vast loud-speakers in a night club.

The Magic Ball at Copacabana Palace Hotel
Official Costume Competition in Hotel Gloria
Ball Masque 2008

Happy New Year Rio de Janeiro


Bulge Contest Video

on Ipanema Beach Brazil