In the Town Hall on Friday morning, Rio de Janeiro’s mayor Eduardo Paes gave the key to the city to the Royal Court, formed by King Momo, his queen and princess, launching the official start of the carnival in town.
King Momo, Milton Jackson, symbolically assumed control of the city until next Wednesday. In style, the mayor danced the samba with King Momo, the queen and princesses of the carnival to music of the drums of Unidos da Tijuca and the Confraria do Garoto.
Although the old-fashioned and traditional street carnival is everywhere, those who want to see the big parades and Rio’s beauties have to wait till Sunday night, when the samba schools of Rio de Janeiro will move through the Sambódromo in Sapucaí. In Rio de Janeiro, the parades take place on Sunday 6 and Monday 7 March.
Six samba schools pass through Sapucaí during the first night of performances. Another six will show their beauties and floats in the evening of Monday.
The samba schools have between 65 and 82 minutes to please the 50 jurors, who must judge all requirements, taking or giving extra points according to what the school has on the Avenue. It is big business.
Samba school São Clemente opens the spectacle, followed by Imperatriz Leopoldinense, Portela, Unidos da Tijuca, Vila Isabel and Mangueira.
On Monday, União da Ilha parades, followed by Salgueiro, Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel, Grande Rio, Porto da Pedra and Beija-Flor.