Party foul: Huge fire deals blow to Carnival in Rio

(O Dia)

With Carnival just weeks away, a huge fire in Rio de Janeiro’s “Samba City” destroyed the costumes and floats for three of the city’s biggest samba schools. Samba schools are more like massive production companies than schools and they spend the year building parade floats, sewing elaborate costumes and choreographing huge performances that become the image of Carnival seen around the world. The president of a school called União da Ilha broke down on the news show “Good Morning Brazil” today, saying the effort to stage a parade must now “start from zero.”

“It’s unfortunate,” he said, “But let us never lose our joy.”