Amid a squabble over tickets for this year's Rio Carnival Parade, the authentic atmosphere of the annual colourful event has been retained in the streets of Rio do Janeiro's shanty-towns.
GV Floats on parade (2 shots)
GV Woman dancer on float
SV Hippo float on car
GV Carnival lights
SV Street dancers
SV Jolly crowd
GV & CU Girls dancing in street (2 shots))
GV Street dancers
GV Floats and lights
Initials BB/0135 PS/JB/BB/0147
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Background: Amid a squabble over tickets for this year's Rio Carnival Parade, the authentic atmosphere of the annual colourful event has been retained in the streets of Rio do Janeiro's shanty-towns.
Hundreds of people who waited in line for three days for tickets to Monday's (10 February) climactic carnival parade charged that they were manhandled by police and were victimised by pickpockets. But as Rio's rich flocked to a series of fancy dress balls in the city's plush hotels on Friday night (7 February), when the carnival officially opened, the real flavour of the proceedings was to be found in the streets, where the poor and humble danced the samba all night.
Rio's tourist organisation began this year's carnival a day earlier than usual in the hope of realising greater profits, but hotel owners have reported a drop in business of up to 50 per cent. One of the reasons is that prices have soared far beyond the ordinary people's reach. A box seat for right at Monday night's main gala ball costs 16,000 cruzeiros (about 875 pounds sterling), and prices for the dress balls average 350 cruzeiros (about 20 pounds sterling).
On the shanty-town streets, however, it was all festivity--and all free--as usual, with street dancers, musicians and giant floats highlighting impromptu parados.