The Winner's Parade isn't a competition, but only an occasion to celebrate and honor the winners – like a victory parade. As a result the atmosphere is much more relaxed. It is also a time of pride and emotion as the winning schools who have worked so hard throughout the year finally reap the fruit of their labor. As many of the Rio Samba schools hail from impoverished communities, being part of a winning school also gives them a sense of belonging and of achievement.
Traditionally, the Winners’ Parade takes place on the Saturday after Carnival and accordingly in the coming year it will take place on Saturday, 8th March 2014. It begins at 9 pm and goes on till the early hours of Sunday morning. The 5th runner up will perform first and the order will be sequentially followed backwards till the Grand Champion who will perform for an hour and a quarter, beginning at 2.25 am.
The participants of the Special Group are judged in 10 categories, ranging from theme and overall performance to the floats, costumes and performances of the flag bearer and the vanguard commission. Each of these ten categories is evaluated by four judges, thus making it a total of forty judges that assess the Samba parade competition.
On Ash Wednesday at the Apotheoses Square at the end of the Sambodromo runway, the meticulous task of tabulating and announcing the results of each school, category by category is conducted, before declaring the champion of the year.
Tickets to the Champions’ Parade are a fair bit cheaper than tickets to the Special Group performances – around half the price for some tickets – though the show is just as spectacular. It is also less crowded and is filled with a lot of Cariocas who come in support of their favorite Samba school. The fervor with which they regard their Samba school is comparable to the passion they have for their favorite football team. It is a good option to attend this if you do not want to spend a lot of money attending the parades of Carnival Sunday and Monday and if you want to mingle with the locals to experience how passionate they are about the event. The streets of Rio and the area surrounding the Sambodromo would be almost be back to normal by this time as most people get back to work after Fat Tuesday. As with the other parades, tickets can be purchased for the grandstands, allotted chairs front boxes and luxury suites.
Although tickets to the parades held at the Sambodromo can be bought much in advance, the actual tickets are only issued a week before Carnival, for fear of fraud and for security reasons.
Our Rio Carnival Help Desk is willing to customize a Rio de Janeiro Carnival package around the Winner's parade for you and your party.
Considering a group of six or more people to Rio de Janeiro for Carnival during the Winner's Parade? Our Carnival Group Desk will be glad to design your itinerary. Benefit from our Travel Group Rates with major airlines carriers as well as all the hotel and service arrangements while in Brazil.