Feb. 24 - The Sao Clemente samba school prepares for the annual Carnival parade with just a week to go before Rio de Janeiro is overcome by Carnival festivities. Elly Park reports.
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Preparations for Rio de Janeiro's beloved Carnival festival are underway.
At the Sao Clemente samba school, one of the 12 qualified to dazzle spectators, workers are working around the clock to put the finishing touches on the massive floats and costumes.
It's a big undertaking -- Carnival is just one week away.
This year, Sao Clemente is focusing on "favelas," the towering shanty towns scattered throughout the city.
The school's designer, Max Lopes explains the intricacies of putting together a spectacular show.
SOUNDBITE: Sao Clemente Carnival Designer, Max Lopes, saying (Portuguese)
"You have to know history, have a culture of history to know what you are writing (creating) and you have to know about Carnival itself, what a parade is about. It is tough because there are a lot of elements."
The parade is fiercely competitive and samba schools often go to great lengths in order to surprise judges with elaborate costumes and over the top dances.
Celebrations kick off on February 28th ... And you can be sure that Sao Clemente and other top schools will wow the crowds when they hit the streets on March 2nd.
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