The Rio Samba Carnival Parade

Watch the parade, be part of the show.
An experience that will be remembered for ever!

Vila Isabel's Float, with a gold human pyramidIt`s helpful to understand that parade in Portuguese is desfile. It's a serious contest among different neighborhoods, divided into three leagues that vie for top ranking following the annual carnival parades.

Preparations for the big Rio Samba Parade start in the year preceding Carnaval, with each samba school counts with thousands of supporters to make it happen. Months before the parade, a theme is chosen at every samba school. Then, after a fierce competition, the song is picked. Last, the costumes and floats are secretly created by locals inside their communities

The rehearsals take place by beginning of December - three months before the big samba parade - with carnavalescos - the school "architect" - choreographing the dances and the movements. By the same time, samba songs are released, recorded and sent to record stores for the entire population to get familiarized with.

The Special Group is formed by twelve samba schools, with six schools parading in each of the two first nights - Sunday February 07 and Monday February 08. These two parades have a very similar setting and importance. A drawing conducted by the organizers determines which schools parade when.

The winner and 5 runners-up from the Special Group make part of the Winners' Parade the Saturday after Carnival, February 13 this year.

The Access Group is composed by 19 samba schools, whith 8 parading on Friday, February 24th and February 06 on Saturday, February 17rd. The winner and the runner up are promoted to parade with the Special Group.

Full Schedule for the 2018 Rio Carnival Samba Parades at the Sambodromo


Special Group Parade - The parade of the parades.
Time February 26th (Sunday) February 27th (Monday)
21:00 - 22:15 Império da Tijuca Mocidade
22:05 - 23:20 Grande Rio União da Ilha
23:10 - 00:25 São Clemente Vila Isabel
00:15 - 01:30 Mangueira Imperatriz
01:20 - 02:35 Salgueiro Portela
02:25 - 03:40 Beija-Flor Unidos da Tijuca


Access Parade - Second Tier of Samba Schools
Time February 24th (Friday) February 25th (Saturday)
21:00 - 22:15 União de Jacarepaguá Alegria da Zona Sul
22:05 - 23:20 Acadêmicos da Rocinha União do Parque Curicica
23:10 - 00:25 Renascer de Jacarepaguá Caprichosos de Pilares
00:15 - 01:30 Porto da Pedra Unidos do Viradouro
01:20 - 02:35 Paraíso do Tuiuti Estácio de Sá
02:25 - 03:40 Estácio de Sá Sereno de Campo Grande
03:30 - 04:45 Inocentes de Belford Roxo Acadêmicos de Santa Cruz
04:35 - 05:50 Império Serrano Unidos de Padre Miguel
05:40 - 06:55 -  Acadêmicos do Cubango


Winners' Parade - Champion and 5 runner-up from Special Group
Time March 04th (Saturday)
21:00 Imperatriz
10:05 Portela
11:10 Unidos da Tijuca
00:15 Grande Rio
01:20 Salgueiro
02:25 Beija Flor
Other Parades with lesser interest for the tourist

Children's Parade - 18 junior samba schools parade on Tuesday February 09, from 5 PM.




Learn more about the Sambodromo.

Guarantee your tickets to the Rio Carnival Parade.

be an expert on rio carnival. get the facts and the schedule of events.

Samba Parade Must-Know
The main Samba Parades are on SUN and MON. But also consider the Access League Samba Parade and the Winners Parade.

Rio Costumes
Carnival 2019

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