The beat of the samba drum spread through the streets and beaches of Rio like a disease, infecting all those who flocked to this city for the festivities with the spirit of Carnival.
Wings made of brightly-colored feathers glittered on the backs of women wearing little more than jeweled bikinis. Bronze men in lipstick and coconut bras downed cans of ice-cold beer, called cerveja.
And tourists looked on in amazement, stunned to see the biggest street party in the world sprawled out in front of them.
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