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OSCARS PHOTOS: See candid moments from the red carpet

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The red carpet returned this year at the 96th Academy Awards — after last year's champagne-colored diversion. A dizzying parade of stars posed in dazzling outfits and waved to myriad photographers and fans. The annual ritual of lights, cameras and fashion had an eventful start.

Osage singers and dancers made a grand entrance down the steps of the Dolby Theatre, bedecked in colorful, traditional garb. Onlookers could be heard saying “wow” in awe. Their departure back up the stairs was just as musical, with bells wrapped around their knees. Live on the show, they’re performing their nominated song from “Killers of the Flower Moon."

Associated Press photographer John Locher roamed the carpet, capturing many candid and unexpected moments Sunday afternoon.

Ramy Youssef pretended to be a red carpet photographer and playfully took hold of a camera.

Meanwhile, winners from last year's Academy Awards were relaxed and took selfies with fans. Jamie Lee Curtis kissed the hand of one fan, who, when asked by the AP if they knew each other before she said “No, I’m just a fan. I’ve always loved her.”

Also on the red carpet, Emily Blunt found her way over to “Oppenheimer” director Christopher Nolan and producer Emma Thomas. John Krasinski chimed in that Nolan looked dapper. They posed for a photograph and laughed together.

Shortly before the ceremony started, a crowd in the bleachers all yelled in unison, “Hi Barbie!” when Margot Robbie hit the carpet. Along with Ryan Gosling and Martin Scorsese, they were among the last to take their seats.

“The trick is not stomping on anybody’s train,” Steven Spielberg said, walking the final steps down the carpet into the Dolby Theatre, as the show was about to begin.

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For more on this year’s Oscars, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/academy-awards