Samba fever hits Rio's streets as 'more than 1.5m' revelers kick off '13 carnival

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 10, 2013 05:40 hrs

As Rio de Janeiro's carnival stared, its oldest street parade drew an estimated 1.5 million people.

The samba-dancing crowd filled the streets of Rio's business district and some passed out under the summer heat.

According to the BBC, officials said that police arrested more than 100 partygoers for minor crimes, but the majority of celebrations were peaceful.

About 700 other street parties and the world-renowned samba schools' parade will take place in Rio until Tuesday.

The Cordao do Bola Preta 95th annual street parade kicked off on Saturday.

Thousands of people, with many wearing costumes, danced as live bands on lorries played tunes of traditional carnival songs and samba school themes.

The carnival is set to draw 1.1 million tourists to Rio, generating some 650 million dollars for the local economy.

International stars such as US actor Will Smith, rapper Kanye West and actress Megan Fox are already in the city for the celebrations, the report said.

For Brazil, Carnival 2013 is an important test of the city's infrastructure ahead of the big sporting events lined up for the future, including the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, it added. (ANI)

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