Updated on Feb.5, 2014
The Special Group, organized under LIESA, the Independent Samba School League, is formed by the top samba schools in Rio de Janeiro Carnival and hosts the most spectacular parades on the Sambódromo, Rio's samba walkway. LIESA announced the full schedule (see below), obtained by drawing, at Cidade do Samba on the night of July 8, 2013.
The parades are a competition in which the last-placed samba school gets demoted to the Access Group (read more about changes in the Access Group). The winner of the Access Group gets promoted to the following year's Special Group parade.
Each of the samba schools in the Special Group has to parade for a minimum of 65 minutes and a maximum of 82 minutes on the Sambódromo. They're evaluated in several aspects, such as samba-enredo, or theme samba; their opening wing (comissão de frente); their MC and flag bearer; and the performance of the percussion section, among other items. Delays cost the samba schools precious points in the competition for the coveted title of Special Group champion.
These are the samba schools which will parade for the Special Group in 2013:
Sunday, March 2, 2014:
- Império da Tijuca
- Grande Rio
- São Clemente
Monday, March 3, 2014:
- União da Ilha
- Vila Isabel
- Unidos da Tijuca
Desfile das Campeãs (Champions' Parade) 2014:
The Champions' Parade, featuring the top six samba schools in the 2014 competition, will take place on the Sambódromo on March 8. The parade starts with the samba school which scored 6th place, with the winner parading last.