World

Carnival parades begin at Rio's hallowed Sambadrome, despite tropical deluge

  • Revelers use a float as a windbreak before the start of Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    Revelers use a float as a windbreak before the start of Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

  • Dancers from the Gavioes da Fiel samba school perform on a float in the Carnival parade at the Sambodromo in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

    Dancers from the Gavioes da Fiel samba school perform on a float in the Carnival parade at the Sambodromo in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)  (The Associated Press)

  • A performer looks at her phone as she waits for the start of the Carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

    A performer looks at her phone as she waits for the start of the Carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)  (The Associated Press)

The world's most celebrated Carnival parades have kicked off, with thousands of feather-clad dancers, wildly costumed marchers and musicians defying a tropical deluge at Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome.

The skies opened up about an hour ahead of the start of the all-night-long extravaganza, drenching revelers and flooding streets near the Sambadrome.

Participants wore plastic rain slickers that they discarded at the last possible moment before taking to the runway.

Six samba schools were parading on Sunday night. Each of the groups has 82 minutes for its floats and thousands of performers to parade. Six other schools will perform on Monday, with all 12 groups vying for the title of the year's best.