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An Unidos da Tijuca samba school dancer performs during a carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, this morning. AP Photo/Felipe Dana
Brazil

In photos: Rio Carnival 2011

Check out the colours and costumes of Brazil’s world-famous carnival festival.

THE WORLD-FAMOUS CARNIVAL kicked off in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, with thousands of the city’s samba school dancers taking part in the weekend’s musical parades.

Some of the festival’s participants suffered a huge setback in their preparations for the carnival when a warehouse fire caused serious damage to thousands of costumes and floats last month.

The AP reports that the group which suffered the most extensive damage to their carnival costumes, Portela, was greeted with huge cheers as they passed the carnival crowds in yesterday’s procession and soccer star Ronaldinho joined Portela for their festivities.

Rio’s leading samba schools spend almost a year preparing for each festival. The final parades will be held tomorrow.

Check out some of this year’s pageantry:

In photos: Rio Carnival 2011
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- Includes some reporting from the AP

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