Brazil’s Carnival reaches its crescendo

Hindustan Times, 02/12/2013

Rio’s Carnival festivities reached their crescendo late Monday with a final night of samba school parades, part of a contest appropriately dubbed the greatest show on earth.

The top dance schools showcased elaborate floats decked with scantily-clad beauty queens writhing to the beat of samba music blasted from giant speakers on flatbed trucks.

The showdown at the city’s Sambodrome was to compete for the coveted title of Carnival champion, and the 72,500 spectators that managed to get a ticket for the event cheered their favorite schools with the same passion reserved for soccer in this football-mad country.

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Brazil: The Face Behind Rio’s Carnival

Fox News Latino, 02/07/2013

RIO DE JANEIRO – Rio’s Carnival is here, who do you want to be this year?

The wall of Olga Valles’ office is a vast tableau of famous faces past and present: Barack Obama smiles warmly, while Yasser Arafat poses in his trademark black-and-white keffiyeh. Next to him is George W. Bush, practically cheek-to-cheek with a fierce Saddam Hussein, teeth bared in a snarl under his black beret.

Beyond them are Osama Bin Laden, Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, an array of soccer greats and the more colorful images of Shrek, Simba from the movie “The Lion King” and assorted monsters.

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Brazil to give away condoms for carnival revelers

Marilia Brocchetto – CNN/WCVB, 02/16/2012

Revelers in Brazil’s most famous city will enjoy more than just sun, live music and dancing when Carnival festivities start this week. Rio de Janeiro state officials are also giving away 3 million free condoms.The new government initiative aims to stop the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases during the five-day event, the state health department said.This year’s campaign targets gay men between the ages of 19 and 24, Brazilian Health Minister Alexandre Padilha said, according to state-run Agencia Brasil.