Skip to main content
Arts & Culture

Dancing in the Streets: Carnaval San Francisco’s Grand Parade Returns

Written by Christina CampodonicoUpdated at May. 29, 2022 • 3:11pmPublished May. 29, 2022 • 2:47pm
Performers in San Francisco's Carnaval Parade on Sunday, May 29, 2022. | Nick Otto for The Standard
+12
View gallery

English

There was dancing in the streets of the Mission once again on Sunday as a colorful procession of Samba dancers, sweeping folkloric skirts, tilting lowriders and fantastic floats made their way down Mission Street for Carnaval San Francisco’s first Grand Parade since the start of the pandemic. 

Representing grooves and moves from across Latin America, hundreds of performers—from shimmying Samba dancers in feathered headdresses to Aztec dancers pounding the pavement with their feet—brought the spirit of Carnaval back to life after Covid canceled the full-scale celebration for the last two years. This year’s theme was “Colores de Amor,” or “Colors of Love.” 

@sfstandard

@CarnavalSF is back this weekend after a two-year pause since the pandemic hit. Check out the largest celebration of Latino, Caribbean and African traditions in San Francisco. 💃🏽🕺🏽 #sfstandard #sanfrancisco #sf #sfnews #bayarea #carnaval #parade #festival #memorialweekend #tiktok #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #thisisforyou @San Francisco Giants

♬ original sound – The San Francisco Standard

But the festivities did not stop at the end of the parade route. Under fluttering Del Sol flags, a festival on Harrison Street showcased a variety of foods, music and wares from across the Latin diaspora. Notably, this year’s festival featured the city’s first-ever community-led, permitted cannabis garden.  

Originally conceived as a parade around Precita Park in the late 1970s, Carnaval SF took the form of a small-scale community resource fair during the height of the pandemic. While Carnaval never left during Covid, “it feels like we’re back home,” said the event’s executive director Rodrigo Durán. “This is a demonstration of how resilient we are.”

“I’m totally ready for the whole shebang,” said 65-year-old Liz Zuniga, a parade attendee who’s been setting up at the same spot annually for Carnaval near the corner of Mission and 24th streets for the past 20 some-odd years. I’m ready to party down and just have so much fun.

Performers in San Francisco’s Carnaval Parade on Sunday, May 29, 2022. | Nick Otto for The Standard

She was also excited to share the tradition with her 16-year-old granddaughter for the first time.

I want her to be a part of this so that when I’m gone and she’s here, I want her to come here and enjoy all this and bring her children and have this wonderful time,” said Zuniga. 

By the time the parade kicked off a little after 10 a.m., the sidewalks were filled with spectators who blew whistles and caught beads from processors in true Carnaval fashion. 

English

Christina Campodonico can be reached at [email protected]

Arts & culture story tips can be sent to [email protected].


BART ‘Is Not Eliminating Weekend Service,’ Says Director

BART ‘Is Not Eliminating Weekend Service,’ Says Director


A Century of Decorations: SF’s Cable Cars Decked Out With Holly, Bird Sculptures and Even Cows

A Century of Decorations: SF’s Cable Cars Decked Out With Holly, Bird Sculptures and Even Cows


Michelin Awards Three New Bib Gourmands in SF and Oakland

Michelin Awards Three New Bib Gourmands in SF and Oakland


4 Iconic ‘Princess Diaries’ Filming Locations in San Francisco

4 Iconic ‘Princess Diaries’ Filming Locations in San Francisco




Stay on top of what’s happening in your city

SF’s most important stories, delivered straight to your inbox



By clicking Subscribe you confirm you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy