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Participate at the Rio Carnival Competition

Rio Costume Mangueira Samba School Carnival 2011 Learn all there’s to Parade in a Rio de Janeiro Carnival Costume.

How do I Get a Rio Carnival Costume?
Buying a Rio carnival costume will act as your “golden ticket” to participate in the Rio Samba Carnival parade. On parade day, come dressed in your costume and go to the specific meeting place of your wing inside your samba school. This meeting will take place about 2 hours before you go “onstage.” Don’t be scared if you have never been to a rehearsal. You will understand how to february by following the people in front and by participating in the school’s warm-up (concentracao) before entering the Avenue.

How and When do I receive my Costume?
The costumes have to be picked up in Copacabana on February 06th and February 10th, 2018, exclusively, from 9 AM to 4 PM. There will be no deliveries. No exceptions. The transit in the city is chaotic with so many bands and blocos taking the streets. We used to deliver costumes but we found out that clients used to wait for a long time in their hotels/residences missing out the beaches and the carnival day attractions.

What are the Rio Carnival Costume Options?
Simply pick and buy a carnival costume you most like and go join the Rio Samba School at the appointed time on your own. Our carnival Costumes come with detailed instructions on where and when to meet your Wing and Samba School, the lyrics, ways to get there by taxi or using the subway system.

As an alternative, you can also book a VIP SERVICE costume package that includes guided roundtrip transportation from/to Copacabana. In this option, our English speaking tour guides will assist you from the moment you get picked-up in Copacabana to when you get on the bus in your way back to Copacabana when your samba school parading is over.

When do I get to Parade with a Carnival Costume?
With or without the VIP Service, carnival costumes are available for the four main parades:

  • Friday february 24th, first night of the Access League.
  • Saturday february 25th, second night of the Access League.
  • Sunday February 26th, first night of the Special Group Parade.
  • Monday February 27th, second night of the Special Group parade.

What are the Costume Types?
Ground or Float Costumes: You can parade on the floor – ground costume - or on top of a float, if you get a carnival float costume.

Uniao da Ilha costumes

Carnival Ground Costumes
You will be part of a wing or “ala”, in Portuguese, with a group of more than 200 people dressing the same carnival costume. The wings are represented by a certain costume, supporting the samba school presentation and theme for the year at the sambadrome. Ground costume participants make their presentation on the floor, according to the instructions given by the wing directors and coordinators.

Carnival Float Costumes
Big floats help the samba schools tell their story at the sambadrome as well. Each school carries 6 to 8 beautiful floats which are planned, designed and built in much secret until the parading day. They are generally the big attraction of the carnival parade. Each year, a limited number of float costumes are put on sale, which are confirmed in a first-come-first-serve basis. If you are scared of heights, avoid the float and get yourself a ground costume. While costumes floats offer its participants with more glamour, the little stages are normally very shaky and sometimes scary.

Important Note about Float Costumes: Float costumes are a bit more complicated. The schools require that you know the samba song. Some require that you sign a document releasing the school from any responsibility in case of an accident. The school are also concerned that paraders will abandon the floats during the parade, causing the school to loose points, precious points, and consequentely the competition. If you are really interested in parading on top of a float, let us know emailing costumes@bookersinternational.com and we will contact you to send you a couple of options and its prices. Float costumes range from US$ 450 to US$ 3,000 depending on the reputation of the samba school and the material used.

What about Transportation to the Sambadrome?
After you have dressed in your costume and confirmed the meeting place, the easiest and safest ways to arrive are by taxi or metro/subway. Come dressed in your costume because there will be no dressing rooms or lockers. If you travel by metro/subway, you will most definitely run into other fellow “paraders” in their costumes, which will increase the excitement on your way to the Sambodromo.

Do not take a bus because the traffic around this area (and almost around the entire city) comes to a stand-still and you might be late. If you travel by taxi or metro/subway, you should leave at least an hour before your meeting time because you are bound to encounter some craziness in the way to your warming up area.

Our full electronic carnival guide will be sent to you by email at the beginning of February 2018 with detailed instructions, useful information and tips on how to get to the sambadrome by subway and by cab, the subway system map, licensed cab companies contact information and much more.