By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This past Friday, March 1st, and Saturday, March 2nd, a total of thirteen samba schools from Rio’s ‘Grupo de Acesso’ or ‘Série A’ (Access Group) tried their best to compete with each other and against the elements to win a coveted spot in the top-tier Grupo Especial for next year’s Carnival Parade, with plenty of spectacular costumes, songs and ‘carros alegóricos’ (floats).

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