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By Fiona Hurrell, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - As 2012 draws to a close, Rio begins to prepare for its biggest event on the social calendar – the much anticipated Carnival. With not a moment to lose, samba schools across the city have chosen their Rainha da Bateria (Queen of the Drums) and embarked on fervent rehearsals in a quest to be crowned champion in February 2013.

Carnival schedules have now been confirmed, with the Grupo de Acesso (Access Group) parading on Friday, February 8th and Saturday, February 9th, while the first-class Grupo Especial (Special Group) will process . . .

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