World

Rio's raucous Carnival kicks off; city gears up for 5 days of non-stop partying

  • The 2015 Carnival King, King Momo, Wilson Dias da Costa Neto, left, and the Carnival Queen Clara Paixao, gesture at a ceremony marking the official start of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    The 2015 Carnival King, King Momo, Wilson Dias da Costa Neto, left, and the Carnival Queen Clara Paixao, gesture at a ceremony marking the official start of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

  • The 2015 Carnival King, King Momo, Wilson Dias da Costa Neto, left, holds up the key of the city with Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes, center, while the Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao looks on behind them, and Carnival Queen Clara Paixao, right, applauds, at a ceremony marking the official start of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    The 2015 Carnival King, King Momo, Wilson Dias da Costa Neto, left, holds up the key of the city with Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes, center, while the Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao looks on behind them, and Carnival Queen Clara Paixao, right, applauds, at a ceremony marking the official start of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

  • The 2015 Carnival King, King Momo, Wilson Dias da Costa Neto, left, holds the key of the city as the Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes, center, and the Carnival Queen Clara Paixao, right, applaud at a ceremony marking the official start of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    The 2015 Carnival King, King Momo, Wilson Dias da Costa Neto, left, holds the key of the city as the Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes, center, and the Carnival Queen Clara Paixao, right, applaud at a ceremony marking the official start of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

Rio de Janeiro is kicking off the five days of over-the-top parades and raucous, alcohol-soaked street parties that make up its world-famous Carnival celebrations.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes on Friday handed over the keys of the city to King Momo, the mythical jester who reigns over the extravaganza.

This year's celebration will be a chance for Brazilians to forget the recent avalanche of bad news, from a stalling economy to rising crime to an ongoing corruption scandal at state-run oil giant Petrobras.

More than 450 street parties are slated to bring millions of people onto Rio streets, including some 970,000 tourists. Paes says the visitors are expected to inject around $780 million into the local economy.

Carnival wraps up on Wednesday.