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Brazil kicks off bigger, brighter Carnival

Vanessa Carvalho / AFP - Getty Images

A reveler of Camisa Verde e Branco samba school sings and dances during the opening night of parades at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on Friday night.

Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP - Getty Images

A reveler of Camisa Verde e Branco samba school waits before participating in the opening night of parades at the Sambadrome.

Vanessa Carvalho / AFP - Getty Images

A float of Camisa Verde e Branco samba school parades at the Sambadrome on Friday night.

Andre Penner / AP

A dancer performs during the Carnival parade on Friday night.

AP reports: The globe's biggest Carnival bash opens Friday, and it promises to be an even bigger blowout this year, with 20 percent more tourists expected than in 2011. Rio officials say they're also better prepared to keep the chaos under some semblance of control, with more portable toilets, traffic guards and paramedics, as well as a new central command center monitoring it all.

Vanessa Carvalho / AFP - Getty Images

Revelers of Camisa Verde e Branco samba school dance on Friday night.

"We want revelers to be conscious that they can party but also care for the city's public spaces," the president of Rio's tourism department, Antonio Figueira de Mello, said in a statement.

About 850,000 tourists are expected during the raucous, five-day free-for-all that kicks off when Rio's mayor hands the key to the city to rotund King Momo, the mythical jester figure who reigns over Carnival.

 

Andre Penner / AP

Drummers perform during the Carnival parade.

 

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