Since winning its way into the top division in 1992, Grande Rio has slowly established itself as one of the most prominent and best-loved of the city's samba schools. The past decade has seen three third-place and three second-place awards, but they only just hung on to their place in the top league in 2011 after a disastrous fire ripped through their headquarters weeks before Carnival. Grande Rio, Colégio São José, Av. Presidente Kennedy, Duque de Caxias. Rehearsals Fridays 10pm.
- Founded - 1988
- Titles - None
- Colours - Red, green and white
- Theme - Love Rio and fight for the 'black gold' (aka oil)
- Queen - Carla Prato
- Last won - Never (5th last year)
- Fact - The theme for this year's parade was going to be a celebration of 60 years of the much-loved fusca (VW Beetle), but it was vetoed at the last minute for the rather more dry, but no doubt politically 'correct', treatment of Rio's fight for the royalties from the offshore oil industry. Now, just try making that into a Carnival delight.
- Chances - 32/1 (all depends how they present the theme)
- Read our full guide to Rio Carnival 2013