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Hundreds of thousands of merrymakers are taking to the streets in hundreds of open-air "bloco" parties.

A reveler performs at the "Carmelitas" block party during Carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016.

Leo Correa/The Associated Press

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Rio de Janeiro's over-the-top Carnival is the highlight of the year for many local residents.

Leo Correa/The Associated Press

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Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes (C) kneels next to the "Rei Momo", or Carnival King Wilson Neto (2nd L) as they pose for picture during the handing over of the ceremonial key to the city at the Cidade Palace.

Sergio Moraes/Reuters

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A reveler checks her makeup as she attends the "Carmelitas" block party during Carnival celebrations.

Leo Correa/The Associated Press

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Revelers perform at the "Carmelitas" block party during Carnival celebrations.

Leo Correa/The Associated Press

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A couple kisses during the "Carmelitas" block party, during Carnival celebrations.

Leo Correa/The Associated Press

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A reveler wearing a mask depicting the "The Joker" comic character, attends the "Carmelitas" block party during Carnival celebrations.

Leo Correa/The Associated Press

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A reveler holds up a colored umbrella as she dances at the "Carmelitas" block party during Carnival celebrations.

Leo Correa/The Associated Press

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Hundreds of thousands of merrymakers are taking to the streets in hundreds of open-air "bloco" parties.

Leo Correa/The Associated Press

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The 2016 Carnival King Momo, Wilson Dias da Costa Neto, second left, holds up the key of the city with Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes, center, as the Carnival Queen Clara Paixao, right, applauds at a ceremony marking the official start of Carnival.

Leo Correa/The Associated Press

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