Rio Carnival climax awash with colour and dance

12th Feb 2013

Samba school parades featuring beauty queens dancing to the beat finished Rio's Carnival with a showdown at the city's Sambadrome.

Elaborate floats featured the top dance schools as giant speakers blasted out samba music on flatbed trucks as the celebrations drew to a close.

The dancers were competing for the Carnival champion title, with the Sao Clemente samba school opening with a homage to Brazil's most popular soaps - so the fun included a float featuring a giant TV set.

The last day of the Carnival followed 15 days of 700 street parties, but events officially began last Friday when Mayor Eduardo Paes handed the legendary King Momo a giant key to the city.

The celebrations also found the time to reference the Beatles, with a Sergeant Pepper block party celebrating the Fab Four with a Samba twist, attended by 50,000 people.

The contest featuring the dance schools had 72,500 ticket-holding spectators who cheered on their favourites, with 71-year-old Maria Concepcao dos Santo enthusing the whole scene was " beautiful, marvellous!" and brought out "everything that is good in life".

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