The parades of the samba schools of the Special Group of Rio de Janeiro begin tonight (22) on Avenida Marquês de Sapucaí, after two years without parades on the samba catwalk because of the covid-19 pandemic. Twelve associations vie for the title of great champion of the carnival.
As in previous years, the parades are divided into two days. Between tonight and early Saturday morning (23), the first six schools enter the avenue.
The first to parade, at 10 pm, will be Imperatriz Leopoldinense. The Ramos club, which has eight titles under its belt, returned to the Special Group this year after being champion of the access group in 2020. It will present a plot about the carnival artist Arlindo Rodrigues.
Afterwards, the public will see Mangueira at the Sambódromo, the first champion of the carnival, 90 years ago, and holder of 20 titles, second only to Portela. The theme this year will honor three figures of samba and the community itself: Cartola, Jamelão and Delegado.
Acadêmicos do Salgueiro, a school in Tijuca, in the north of the city, will be the third school to pass through Marquês de Sapucaí and will seek its tenth title with a plot about places of resistance of black culture in Rio de Janeiro.
The fourth school will be São Clemente, an association in the south of the city that seeks the unprecedented title, with a tribute to actor and comedian Paulo Gustavo, who died in 2021 as a victim of covid-19.
In search of the third championship, the current champion Unidos do Viradouro, from Niterói, will remember the 1919 carnival, which took place after the Spanish flu pandemic.
Closing the first day of parades, Beija-Flor de Nilópolis will take to the avenue the theme “To make the thought black is to hear the voice of Beija-Flor”, about the black intellectual contribution to the construction of a more African Brazil.
The Independent League of Samba Schools (Liesa), responsible for the parades of the Special Group, informed that it will guarantee the escort of floats to avoid further accidents, such as the one that seriously injured Raquel Antunes, 11, on the first day of Gold Series parade, on Wednesday (20).
The obligation to guarantee the escort of cars on the route between the Sambadrome and the school sheds was determined by the Justice of Rio last night.
The Justice also asked that the Military Police and the Municipal Guard patrol the surrounding streets to prevent people from approaching the floats.
The Municipal Public Order Department (Seop), the Municipal Guard and the Military Police reported that they are already complying with the judicial decision.
The Fire Department said that none of the samba schools had registered the regularization of their floats with the corporation and that, therefore, the release is up to the leagues that organize the parades. According to the firefighters, when this happens, the leagues assume – along with the schools – the risks of possible accidents.