Tourists and celebrities lap up carnival event

11th Feb 2013

Foreign tourists rubbed shoulders with a host of celebrities on Sunday to enjoy one of the highlights of Brazil's famous Rio Carnival.

Visitors and locals joined the famous faces in the 72,500-seater Rio Sambadrome as some of the city's top samba schools and beauty queens entered on a procession of colourfully decorated fantasy floats.

Celebrities in the audience included US actors Megan Fox and Will Smith, reality star Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend rapper Kanye West.

The first school on parade was the Incocentes de Belford Roxo, which performed a homage to Korean culture in Brazil, South Korean rapper Psy having performed his worldwide hit Gangnam Style in front of crowds in Salvador in north-eastern Brazil on Friday.

Having watched the exotic dancers with their huge headgear, feathers, sequins and body paint, Megan Fox, 26, who was at the event promoting Brahma Beer, the Brazilian lager, said: "I'd love to be Brazilian. I'll stay until bedtime. It's an opportunity of a lifetime."

A dozen samba schools are taking part in the two-night Sambadrome event, fighting it out to be crowned carnival champions.

The annual carnival is Brazil's most important festival with celebrations staged throughout the country from Rio and Sao Paulo to Salvador, Recife, Olinda, Manaus and Porto Alegre.

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