rehearsal for Carnival at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Millions flock to Rio Carnival street parties

Millions of carnival attendees flood the streets of Rio de Janeiro as the carnival heats up.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (FEBRUARY 6, 2016) (TV GLOBO) – Millions of revellers flooded the streets of Rio de Janeiro on a scorching Saturday (February 6) to take part in some of the city’s biggest and most popular carnival parties.

Aerial footage showed huge crowds sprawling across Copacabana at the Favorita street party, which kicked off bright and early at 9 a.m. local time (1100 GMT).

The Favorita party first originated in Rocinha favela, the largest community of its kind in Latin America, and is popular with lovers of Baile funk music, a genre mixing Miami Bass and Afro-Brazilian rhythms.

For those looking for samba and the upbeat “Marchinho” songs typical of Rio´s more traditional street parties, there was The Bola Preta parade downtown.

The Bola Preta parade is famous for drawing some of Carnival’s biggest crowds, and this year was no different with some million present, according to O Globo newspaper.

Directing the crowds, large sound trucks haul brassy samba bands which play furiously as they are pulled through the throngs of dancing people closing off Rio Branco Avenue, the city´s main thoroughfare.

This year, the band’s theme-tune marked the count-down to its centenary, which will be celebrated in 2018, making it one of the oldest at the carnival.

“It is so good, there are no fights, we are just having fun,” said one carnival attendee at Bola Preta.

“I come here every year to celebrate carnival, it´s a rule,” added another.

Some six million people are expected to attend over 600 street parties known as “blocos” in the city throughout the month of February.