Four Nights of Carnival Parades in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

There are four parades during the Rio Carnival. On Friday and Saturday night, the Access Groups (also called A Series) perform. These are talented samba schools but not considered elite. On Sunday evening, seven of the Special Group schools are featured. Another set of Grupo Especial marchers are on Monday night. These two events are the most popular. Attendance is heavy and the performances are nationally televised. Winners in each of the two categories are announced on Ash Wednesday. The first-place team in the Access Group will join the Special Group the following year. As an added bonus, the Champions Parade is held on Saturday after Ash Wednesday. The top six schools repeat their shows during this non-judged exhibition.

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