Official Samba Parade - Carnaval Rio de Janeiro
The official Samba parade is a contest at Carnival in which the best twelve samba schools of Rio de Janeiro participate. There is also a ‘second league’ and even parades by youngsters (which for an outsider are both great to attend as well). The parades are being held in a designated stadium, the Sambódromo in the central suburb Santo Cristo.
Sambódromois locally also called ‘Passarela do Samba’: The Samba Catwalk. In 1984 it was designed by Brazil’s most famous architect, Oscar Niemeyer, and it can hold up to 90,000 spectators.
At the grand finals, Sunday and Monday nights (6 groups a night),
each samba school parades between 65 and 80 minutes from start to finish(disqualification lurks when arriving outside this schedule).
Samba Parade in the Sambódromo, Rio de Janeiro
Each group consists of about 4,000 (!) participants and the choreography of the portrayed allegory is usually very complex and exciting. A jury of artists, intellectuals and other celebrities will pick a winner.
Important things are the originality of the allegory, the music, the choreography, the outfits, the enthusiasm and of course the cheers from the audience the respective samba school receives.
The prize for the winning samba school is around US$ 1 million, so the stakes are high.
The six best samba schools over the weekend parade once more on the Saturday after Carnaval (ticket prices will be lower for this event).
For the parade 2015, expect official rates between US$ 62 and US$ 848, depending on the day and the sector (prices are per seat per day). Most convenient is to buy your tickets in advance from your hotel or a tourist agency, but expect to pay a commission.
On the night of the parade, you can try to arrive late in order to find discounted prices with scalpers, but if you get lucky, expect some hassle in order to find a spot in the crowd. If you arrive by metro, you best jump off the train at Central station when you have a ticket for an odd-numbered zone and at Praça Onze station for an even zone.
In-depth information on A Night at the Sambódromo 2017...
Samba schools are Carnaval groupswhich participate in the official parades. No effort and money of whatsoever is spared to come up with an appealing theme/ allegory (called ‘l’enredo’), designing a flashy float and fancy dresses. And of course picking the right music and rehearsing the captivating dance steps. Preparations for the Samba parade usually take a full year!
Samba schools play an important role in Rio's society
|Samba schools are an important aspect of Rio culture. At Carnaval, the ups and downs of the parades at the Sambódromo are dominating the news.
Samba schools are large associations representing a suburb, neighbourhood or favela. The samba school often plays an important social role in its respective area.
Like every Carioca (Rio dweller) has a favourite soccer team, they also support their favourite samba school.
The most famous samba schools are Salguiero and Manguiera. Samba schools usually start rehearsing from August. It is fine to come and watch the rehearsels at Samba City.
Probably the ultimate Rio Carnival experience is