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By Sarah Brown, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As 2017 draws ever closer, this only means one thing for Rio’s samba schools – Carnival is arriving. Liga Independente das Escolas de Samba/LIESA (League of Independent Samba Schools) have announced the schedules for the official parades of the Carnival 2017, which will see twelve samba schools give their greatest performance over the course of two days.

Samba school, carnival parades, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The samba schools give an incredible performance during Carnival, photo by Marco Antonio Cavalcanti/Riotur.

On Sunday, February 26th, the Sambódromo will receive the first six schools. Paraíso do Tuiuti will begin the show at 10PM followed by Grande Rio between 11:05 PM and 11:15 PM.

Between 12:10AM and 12:30AM, Imperatriz will enter the Sambódromo, later followed by Vila Isabel between 1:15 AM and 1:45 AM. Between 2:20AM and 3AM, Salgueiro will begin their performance finally finishing with Beija-Flor between 3:15 AM and 4:15 AM. The beginning times of each school has leeway to account for any delays in performances.

The final day of the parades is on Monday, February 27th. The first school to start will União da Ilha at 10PM, followed by São Clemente between 11:05 PM and 11:15 PM. Later, Mocidade will give their performance at the Sambódromo between 12:10 AM and 12:30 AM, followed by Unidos da Tijuca between 1:15 AM and 1:45 AM. Portela school will begin their parade between 2:20 AM and 3AM, followed by Mangueira between 3:15 AM and 4:15 AM who will be the closing act of the parades.

A Carnival samba dancer from the parades, photo by Riotur/Flickr Creative Commons License.
A Carnival samba dancer from the parades, photo by Raphael David/Riotur.

Rodrigo Braz Vieira, Director from Bravietour expresses his thoughts on the Carnival parades. “The actual parade at the Sambadrome taking place on the 26th and 27th of February, is absolutely worth seeing. Its long hours, from 9PM to almost 6AM, is a true endurance.”

“The parade is an impressive work of art that takes almost one whole year to get ready for one single night!” He exclaims.

“The translation of a theme into seven to nine huge immensely decorated floats with between 3,500 and 5,000 participants is the outmost proof of organization, creativity, and beauty built by a hard work of a huge collectivity of sculptors, painters, costume designers, draftsmen, behind the scenes. In my opinion one of the greatest expression of the Brazilian Culture.”

Vieira advises, “For a better experience and view at the Sambódromo I’d suggest sitting at the stand sectors three to five or eleven, or the equivalent on the even side. Those are the stands where the local people go, and they follow with great enthusiasm their favorite samba school, singing, dancing and commenting about the curiosities.”

The winner of Carnival will be announced on Saturday, March 4th, where six of the schools will be ranked from first place to sixth place. To buy tickets, check out the LIESA website.

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