Raw: 'Carnival' Officially Underway in Rio

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Rio de Janeiro's mayor on Friday officially opened Carnival, the self-billed biggest party on the planet. Mayor Eduardo Paes handed the keys to the city to King Momo, the mythical jester who reigns over the extravaganza. (Feb. 28)

SHOTLIST

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - February 28, 2014

1. Wide of Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes handing the keys of the city to King Momo, King of Carnival

2. Various of celebration

STORYLINE

Rio de Janeiro's mayor on Friday officially opened Carnival, the self-billed biggest party on the planet and Brazil's last big bash before it hosts this year's World Cup football tournament.

Amid pounding drums and sequin-laden dancers, Mayor Eduardo Paes handed the keys to the city to King Momo, the mythical jester who reigns over the extravaganza.

Through Ash Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of merrymakers will take to Rio's streets in the nearly 500 open-air "bloco" parties.

The most traditional of these bashes is expected to attract more than one million people to Rio's central area on Saturday.

Rio's tourism officials project that 918-thousand tourists will descend on the city for Carnival.

That's expected to inject more than 730 (m) million US dollars into the local economy.

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