Carnaval San Francisco is one of the largest multicultural celebrations on the West Coast, with over 400,000 festival goers yearly. Over Memorial Day weekend, San Francisco comes to life for an enormous two-day festival and grand parade, pulsating with dancing, drumming, live music, brilliant costumes, delicious food, and artistry from Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, Trinidad, Tobago and more – mostly created by Mission District residents and Bay Area artists.
It is one of the few events where people from diverse backgrounds come together to celebrate life forgetting their age and race. Where else will you see a grandmother, daughter and granddaughter dancing samba together in the parade. And not just that you will also find a Japanese master drummer leading a Samba comparasa.
The festival is filled with engaging activities and entertainment across 8 blocks of city streets, covering cultures from all corners of the world. Each year, attendees can vie for a the highly coveted Official Ambassador position at the festival’s Grand Parade by entering the Carnaval King & Queen Competition and showing off their hidden talents and dance skills.
The 40th annual Carnaval San Francisco (2018) will be held on Harrison Street between 16th and 24th Streets in the Mission District and you will experience global cuisine, international music, dance, arts and crafts. Besides the Parade, enjoy fun activities and entertainment for the whole family on every street corner.
Among the Brazilian groups that will performer this year are California Choro Club, Sambadá, SambaFunk, Fogo na Roupa, Batalá San Francisco, Loco Bloco, Maracatu Pacífico, Paixão Dance Ensemble and Aquarela Brazilian Dance Ensemble. Some of the Latino groups that we recommend you not miss are India – La Princesa de la Salsa, Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca, Carnaval Salsa Legends band, Pepe y su Orquestra, Hip Spanic Allstars, Carribean All-Stars and a Colombian Extravaganza with Comparsa Vive Mi Tierra, Parceros Salseros and La Cumbiamba Colombiana
Admission to the festival and parade is FREE. Grandstand seating for the parade, located on Mission Street between 21st and 22nd streets, is available for purchase online. For more info, full lineup and more, please visit the official site here. The 2023 Carnaval San Francisco happens Saturday (May 27th) and Sunday (May 28th) during the Memorial Day Weekend.