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By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last night (Wednesday, March 1st) the samba school Império Serrano was crowned the Série A (Access Group) champion of the Rio de Janeiro 2017 Carnival. With the victory, the school returns to the top tier Grupo Especial (Special Group), after eight years of waiting.

Samba school Império Serrano was crowned the Série A champions, Carnival 2017, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Samba school Império Serrano was crowned the Série A (Access Group) champion of the Rio de Janeiro 2017 Carnival, photo by Paulo Portilho/Riotur.

The school president, Vera Lúcia Corrêa, said that the feeling is “soul washed” after eight years of attempts to return to the Grupo Especial, where Império Serrano was already champion.

“Today, with the big parade you did on the avenue, we can carry this trophy to Madureira and show our community, in Serrinha, that it was worth it,” he commented.

Viewed as one of Rio’s most traditional samba schools, Imperio Serrano first formed in 1947 in the Serrinha community, Madureira (where the Grupo Especial champion Portela samba school is also from). Its white and green flag has a golden crown and the school has been crowned Carnival champion nine times.

The rainha de bateria (queen of drums), Quitéria Chagas, was moved by the title, the second that she accompanies in the green and white school of Madureira. “I had this taste in 2008, and having it again is wonderful. I’m very excited. The school deserved to rise,” she said.

The president of the League of Samba Schools of Rio de Janeiro (LERJ), Déo Pessoa, took stock of the 2017 parades and said that the result is very positive. “[All the] schools are to be congratulated. Any of the top three or even the fourth was deserving of the title,” he said.

The executive believes that the accidents in the Grupo Especial, where more than thirty people were injured, will also increase the collection for Series A. “What has happened will spill over in us, regarding the charges and requirements that will occur from now on,” he said.

The Viradouro samba school was the second placed in the Série A calculation, with five tenths less. Estácio de Sá, competed closely but was the third placed in the Série A 2017 Carnival parade competition. Last placed União Parque Curicica descends to the Série B level next year.

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