Mangueira Wins Rio Carnival Parade
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) _ First Station of Mangueira, Rio’s most traditional samba group, sang the praises of Brazil’s northeast and was declared champion of Rio’s carnival parade Wednesday.
The group paraded in the Sambadrome stadium on Monday night cheered on by U.S. first mom Barbara Bush who waved a green and pink Mangueira flag throughout the group’s 80 minute parade.
Rio’s glittering samba parade is actually a hot contest where groups are judged on their music, lyrics, floats, costumes, dancing and the precision of their drum sections, among other things.
A less than perfect score can doom a group’s chances of victory and this was the first year that judges were able to break their scores down into decimals.
Mangueira edged out the popular samba group Beija Flor by just a tenth of a point to win the championship ending the three-year reign of Imperatriz Leopolinense.
It was the fourth year in a row that Beija Flor took second place.
Mangueira which was founded in 1928 has been champion of 16 carnivals -- a distinction that brings little more than bragging rights.