The Champion’s Parade at Rio de Janeiro Carnival

The Big Carnival Champion and Five Runner Ups Parading to Celebrate

Ash Wednesday is the day that decides the fate of the top 12 samba schools in the Special Group. Emotions run high on the day when every carioca waits with bated breath as the judges announce the champion and the placing of every samba school. The top six return to spotlight at the Sambadrome at the Champion’s Parade on Saturday February 29th, 2020 to prove their mastery of the samba. The hard work put in throughout the year has paid rich dividends for these top six samba schools who put up performances that are no less spectacular than the Special Group parade. After all, the cariocas do not believe in doing anything in half measure so you can expect some riveting performances at the Champion’s Parade. This is a highly emotional event where the winning samba schools are overcome with pride after striving hard throughout the year to create the most innovative costumes, floats, and samba tunes.

Winners' Parade - Champion and 5 runner-up from Special Group

Time February 29th (Saturday)
21:00 5th Runner Up
22:05 4th Runner Up
23:10 3rd Runner Up
00:15 2nd Runner Up
01:20 1st Runner Up
02:25 Champion

Other Parades with lesser interest for the tourist

Children's Parade - 18 junior samba schools parade on Tuesday Feb 25th, from 5 PM.

Party With The Cariocas

The Champion’s Parade begins at 9 pm with the 6th best school proudly performing to a packed Sambadrome. The 2020 Grand Champion will make their way down the runway around 02:30 am, justifying to the world their position as the leaders in samba.
The Sambadrome is packed to capacity with a majority of cariocas out in support of their samba school. This is a great time to party with the locals and understand how passionate and proud they are of their culture. Carnival tickets can be booked in advance although the actual tickets are only distributed one week before the Carnival in order to avoid black marketeering and misappropriation of tickets. Apart from the Champion’s parade there are many other street parties to attend during your visit.

Champion’s Parade Tickets

Tickets to the Champion’s Parade sell out just as quickly as those on Carnival Sunday and Monday. The parade has gained popularity over the years and you will find many people making their reservations as early as possible.