Can I bring food into the Sambadrome?
Yes. The rules for bringing food to the Sambadrome are not like most major venues around the world. You are allowed to bring two 500ml plastic beverage containers and two items of food, like fruits, sandwiches and other snacks. Alternatively, there are fast food concessions located within the Sambadrome itself.
I read that most seats are concrete bleachers: can I bring something to cushion my seat?
You sure can! You're allowed to bring in pillows or cushions to pad the concrete bleacher. You might be sitting for quite a few hours, so this might be a good idea for you. Remember though, this is an indescribably exciting event and the likelihood that you'll stand for most of the parade is high.
Are there bathrooms in the Sambadrome?
There are restrooms located in the Sambadrome, but they sometimes run out of toilet paper. So it might be a good idea to snag an extra roll from your hotel and bring it with you just in case.
Can I take pictures or videos at the parade?
Absolutely: take your memories back home with you! You're permitted to take any kind of pictures or video of the parade, and flash is not a problem. You are also allowed to bring binoculars into the Sambadrome. This can help you get a closer look at the magnificent details of the elaborate costumes and floats!
Is it safe inside the Sambadrome?
During the events of Rio Carnival, the Sambadrome is considered one of the safest places on the planet! There is a massive barricade surrounding the venue, and thousands of police officers and private security details within the walls of the Sambadrome itself. After all, the event is attended by celebrities, royalty, heads of state and other high-profile people.
What am I NOT allowed to bring into the Sambadrome?
Objects that are forbidden to bring into the Sambadrome include anything made of polystyrene, glass bottles, firecrackers and fireworks. It is also forbidden to enter the Sambadrome with a cooler, bags, weapons and cutting instruments. A discardable raincoat is a good idea, given the frequency of summer showers in Rio, but you are discouraged from bringing Umbrellas, as they can easily obstruct the view of your neighbors and those seated around you. However, there is no official rule that says you cannot bring an Umbrella into the Sambadrome.
Are there special locations for persons with disabilities in the Sambadrome?
Yes. There are two designated handicap areas:
The first is located next to Apotheosis Square. There are 270 places are made available for physically handicapped persons in sector 13, with an additional 240 spots for companions. These tickets are free and distributed by the Association for Physically Handicapped People at Riotur or City Hall.
The second location is in sector 4, with 25 designated handicapped seats and seats fir those accompanying them.
What do I need to do to parade with a Samba School?
The great thing about RIo Carnival is that all you need is a costume and you're ready to participate in the parade. If you recall, within Samba Schools there are various wings called alas. There is a different costume for each ala, so you'll parade with the Samba School for which you have purchased a costume, and alongside the specific ala for which your costume was handmade.
What should I wear under my costume?
The emphasis here is on fitting in with the rest of the parade participants wearing your costume. You should not wear clothing that disrupts unity. Costumes designed to show skin are designed that way for a purpose, so bear this in mind when selecting your costume. For example, if your costume consists of a skirt, don't wear pants underneath. Similarly, if your costume is has short sleeves, don't wear long sleeves underneath. If your undergarments are deemed to disrupt the cohesion and harmony of the parade, you will not be permitted to participate. We advise that you wear lightweight clothing. As some costumes are made with synthetic materials that are not that pleasant on the skin, your undergarment would ideally protect you from picking and itching. Women should consider wearing a tank top and comfortable shorts, bikini bottoms or underwear, depending on the specific needs of the costume. Men can wear regular underwear and a white cotton t-shirt. This is a competition and the schools have worked all year to prepare for the event, so if you stand out like a sore thumb, there is a good chance they might not let you parade. For more detailed information, check with the costume representative of your school.
Where can I purchase I costume to participate in the Rio Carnival Parade?
Rio.com has special relationships with the Samba Schools of the Special Group in Rio de Janeiro, and offers a wide variety of costumes that are specifically handmade by artisans at each School. Pick your costume from their costume shop (http://carnival.rio.com/costume/costume-shop.asp) and join in on the fun!
What time to the doors to the Sambadrome open?
The doors open at 5:00 PM on the day of a Sambadrome Parade.
Can I wear my costume before the parade?
It might be tempting to wear your costume days before the parade at a party or a Carnival ball. Out of respect for the Samba School, understand that costumes are taken very seriously at Rio Carnival, and it is essential that your costume be in mint condition on parade night. This is beneficial to you, too. Some of the costumes are very intricately designed, and have many parts and extremities that need to be in tact in order for the director of your particular wing to give you the go-ahead to parade with the school. So please, don't play around with your costume before the parade. If you are traveling to the parade on the subway, we encourage wearing the costumes, just make sure to be extra careful. After you and your school parade through the Sambadrome, feel free to wear your costume to a party or a Carnival ball -- do with it as you please!
When should I get to the Sambadrome if I am parading, and where should I meet my school?
Once you have your costume, you are almost there! Parading in the Sambadrome in front of more than 90,000 cheering spectators is an exhilarating, unforgettable experience of a lifetime! Look at the day and time your host school (the school for which you have a costume) will be parading. They will typically request that you arrive at the Sambadrome at least two hours in advance. The schools, and you, will gather for warmups (concentração) in an area located toward the beginning of the parade route (Sectors 2 and 3), closest to the lower-numbered sectors. When you arrive at the Sambadrome, look for a Carnival director or security guard to point you in the direction of your school. Half the parading schools will line up on the even side of the Sambadrome, and the other schools will line up on the odd side.
Is there anything I should practice before the parade?
When you learn for which school you have purchased a costume, and after the samba song for the next year's Rio Carnival parade is released, you can learn the lyrics to the song! This will help out your host school, and it will make the entire experience that much more authentic and exhilarating! If you will be in Rio de Janeiro prior to Rio Carnival, you can also learn the song and learn how to dance at your school's samba nights! Check your school's page in the "Samba School's" section of RioCarnival.net for more information.
When I am done parading, what do I do with my costume?
The costume is all yours. You can leave it on and change when you get home, or you bring a change of clothes with you to the Sambadrome. Don't be shy to get into a taxi wearing your costume: it's Carnival -- they know! Alternatively, you can bring your costume back to the RioCarnival.net Carnival help desk, and for a fee we can ship it anywhere in the world.
How long will I be parading for?
Your entire host school's procession will take approximately 85 minutes, and you should expect to be marching for close to that.
what section do the judges sit?
Most of the Judges sit by Sector 7
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