Image: Carnival celebration
Antonio Scorza  /  AFP - Getty Images file
Fabia Borges of Imperio da Tijuca samba school performs Feb. 28 during the second night of Rio de Janeiro's traditional samba school parade, part of the annual Carnival celebration.
updated 3/22/2006 7:34:38 PM ET 2006-03-23T00:34:38

Carnival is so much fun, some politicians want to celebrate it twice a year.

The Rio de Janeiro city council passed a bill late Tuesday that would create a second Carnival celebration, six months after the traditional pre-Lenten bash. Mayor Cesar Maia will decide whether to sign the bill into law.

Councilman Dionisio Lins, who sponsored the bill, proposed that the new Carnival would have three nights of parades in the city’s Sambadrome stadium, where the annual Carnival parade is held each year.

The parade is the centerpiece of Brazil’s annual Carnival celebration. The city’s premiere samba groups each spend around $2 million to stage a spectacular, 80-minute parade featuring floats, costumes and original music.

According to Lins, the offseason celebration would be held in July, at the height of South America’s winter. It would differ from the traditional Carnival parade because the groups would not compete and could sing sambas from past years.

“This will generate tourism, jobs and income for the city,” Lins told reporters after the bill passed.

The Independent League of Samba Schools declined to comment on the project until it became official.

A similar idea was proposed in the early 1990s, but the idea died after the samba groups declined to participate.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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