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Brazil's Carnival kicks off with parades and street parties

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/24/2017 Associated Press
Costumed patients from the Nise da Silveira Mental Health Institute wait for the start of their Carnival parade, coined in Portuguese: "Loucura Suburbana," or Suburban Madness, in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Patients, their relatives and institute workers held their parade one day before the official start of Carnival. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo) © The Associated Press Costumed patients from the Nise da Silveira Mental Health Institute wait for the start of their Carnival parade, coined in Portuguese: "Loucura Suburbana," or Suburban Madness, in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Patients, their relatives and institute workers held their parade one day before the official start of Carnival. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Revelers all over Brazil are gearing up for parades, balls and street parties on the first of five official days of Carnival celebrations.

A patient from the Nise da Silveira Mental Health Institute wears an octopus costume during the institute's carnival parade, coined in Portuguese: "Loucura Suburbana," or Suburban Madness, in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Patients, their relatives and institute workers held their parade one day before the official start of Carnival. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo) © The Associated Press A patient from the Nise da Silveira Mental Health Institute wears an octopus costume during the institute's carnival parade, coined in Portuguese: "Loucura Suburbana," or Suburban Madness, in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Patients, their relatives and institute workers held their parade one day before the official start of Carnival. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

The world famous party in Rio de Janeiro is kicking off Friday afternoon with several street parties expected to draw tens of thousands. One street party group even has unpopular Brazilian President Michel Temer as its theme.

Rio's top Carnival parades will happen on Sunday and Monday. Sao Paulo will have its main samba schools taking their floats to their sambadrome Friday evening.

The northeastern cities of Salvador and Recife that often attract hundreds of thousands of people to their Carnival celebrations will feature concerts and street parties.

Partygoers are spending less in this year's edition due to Brazil's economic crisis. Almost 13 million Brazilians are unemployed.

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