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Today they are known as Carnaval blocos (blocks), consisting of a group of people who dress in costumes or special T-shirts with themes and/or logos.
Blocos are generally associated with particular neighbourhoods; they include both a percussion or music group and an entourage of revelers.
In the southeastern cities of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Vitória, huge organized parades are led by samba schools.
Those official parades are meant to be watched by the public, while minor parades ("blocos") allowing public participation can be found in other cities, like Belo Horizonte, also in the southeastern region.
The first registered samba-school was called "Deixa-falar", but disappeared later and the first official samba-school contest happened in 1929, with only three groups, and "Oswaldo Cruz" group won the competition, with a samba written by Heitor dos Prazeres.
GRES Estação Primeira de Mangueira Samba-School, represented by Cartola, and Estácio de Sá samba School, represented by Ismael Silva, were the other 2 contestants.
The musical styles are different at each carnival; in Bahia there are many rhythms, including samba, samba-reggae, axé, etc., while in Rio there is the multitude of samba styles: the "samba-enredo", the "samba de bloco", the "samba de embalo", the "funk-samba", as well as the famous "marchinhas" played by the "bandas" in the streets.
Eventually, "Oswaldo Cruz" became, Portela Samba School, the greatest winner of Rio's Carnival with 21 Titles.