Rio Carnival champion announced

15th Feb 2013

Vila Isabel fought off competition from 11 rival top-tier schools to clinch the annual Rio Carnival title in Brazil.

The samba schools faced off for the honour during the two-night parade in the Sambadrome. Vila Isabel was billed as the frontrunner for the prize and so it proved as its flamboyant agricultural-themed parade finished top of the pile.

The winning school and five other top participants will entertain the Sambadrome crowd once more on Saturday during the champions' parade.

There were between 3,500 and 4,000 components and a number of richly decorated floats on show in the original parade as 40 judges weighed up the merits of each school. They scored the entries on their band, music, floats, theme and costumes.

Vila Isabel, which focused on the life of Brazilian farmers, impressed the most, with Beija-Flor de Nilopolis second. Last year's winner, Unidos da Tijuca, had to settle for third with its German theme.

It is estimated 900,000 tourists were among the six million people who flocked to Rio for the five-day carnival.

Aside from official carnival celebrations, hundreds of ad-hoc street parties have also been held, showing people on group tours how Rio folk party.

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