São Paulo's official Carnival 2013 online guide, launched this week, has the schedule for the Special and Access Group parades on the Anhembi Sambódromo, as well as lots of photo galleries, audio files with the theme song for each samba school, ticket prices and points of sale.
On the guide you'll also find the schedule for off-Sambódromo fun - particulary pre-Carnival - with bands and blocos, or Carnival groups, belonging to the city's two officially promoted associations, Abasp and ABBC (to see the listings, click on "O Carnaval", then on "Carnaval nos Bairros").
Both at Anhembi and official street events, revelers will be joined by this year's Carnival royalty; the 2013 King Momo and his court were crowned during a big party at Palácio das Convenções do Anhembi on Jan.17.
São Paulo street Carnival has only gotten better in the past few years, with a growth in the number of groups and revelers. The city's free Carnival gained momentum last December, when members of over 20 local blocos such as Kolombolo Diá Piratininga and Vai Quem Quer got together and launched the Manifesto Carnavalista, a movement in defense of free street Carnival, with a view to obtaining more support from the city administration.
Members of Manifesto Carnavalista are independent, that is, do not belong to the city's official bloco associations. They say they intend to remain independent, but would still like their revelers to have access to infrastructure such as cleared routes, portable restrooms and police presence.
Representatives of the group met last Thursday with SP Culture Secretary Juca Ferreira and his staff, who committed to the creation of a task force to discuss Carnival 2013 logistics and provide greater official support during independent parades. In an official note, the Culture Secretariat said that it "recognizes the legitimacy of street Carnival as an important form of cultural expression and occupation of the city's public spaces".