Mission District will once more reverberate with the hypnotic
beat of drums and the irresistible rhythms of samba, salsa and
soca this Memorial Day Weekend.
"Baila Conmigo - Dance With
Me!" is the official theme this year. And a fitting theme it is
for this, the 27th annual extravaganza known as Carnaval San
Francisco. The fun begins with a two-day festival held Saturday
and Sunday May 28 and 29 and culminates with the Carnaval Grand
Parade on Sunday, May 29. Every year the number of
contingents taking part increases. Not so long ago it was 40.
Last year it was around 70. This year it has swelled to 83! The
line-up includes a wonderful multicultural mix of Rio-style
samba schools, Trinidadian "mas" camps, Bolivian, Panamanian,
Colombian and Mexican groups, rollerskaters, stiltwalkers,
masses of schoolchildren--the list is endless.
Sunday's Grand Parade will commence at 9:30 a.m. at the
corner of 24th and Bryant streets, head to Mission Street, wend
its way down Mission to 17th Street where it will turn right and
proceed to Harrison Street and the Festival area. It's being
televised live by both KRON-TV and Telemundo.
The Festival takes place both days on Harrison Street
between 16th and 23rd streets from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will
be booths selling arts, crafts, delectable food from around the
world plus four beer gardens. A sizzling array of music and
dance entertainment will be offered throughout both days on
seven stages set up along Harrison; the NBA will have
30,000 square feet of interactive activities going on at the
John O'Connel school yard.
This year's King and Queen of Carnaval--Paulo Silva of Goiania,
Brazil and San Francisco native Vanessa Mosqueda--will ride in
royal style on their own float. Paolo is a member of the
Aquarela Brazilian Dance Ensemble and Vanessa is founder and
choreographer of the Mixtiso Latin Hip Hop Group. Be prepared to
Contingents create their own variations oo the official theme.
Glenn Evans' Sambao Para o Povo it's "Ritmo E Magia" - Rhythm
and Music. For Suzanne Ludlum's Caribbean group, All Ah We, it's
"Una Cancion Para Ti"--A Song For You. Jaime Martinez' Latin
American Workout (L.A.W) is celebrating a 15-year anniversary.
The theme--"Explosion!" Watch out for some scorching salsa,
samba and merengue to heat up the street when this group goes
The newspaper, El Tecolote, is marking 35 years of service to
community by taking it to the streets! A contingent of dancers,
many of them oldtimers, and children dressed in traditional
costumes or as little owlets will be joined by a 40-strong
Yucatecan Mayan group from the Bay Area. All will be propelled
forward by a vibrant Bateria of veteran drummers playing a
Rio-style batucada on a 35' trailer truck.
And making a welcome comeback
this year is Claude, the Fire-Breathing Dragon--Dance Kaiso's
wonderful kinetic metal sculpture. Their theme--"Calypso!"
For those who like to watch the
Parade in comfort, grandstand seats are available for $20. Visit
there's the official Carnaval website--carnavalsf.com or call
the Carnaval hotline at 415/920-0125.
The Mission is THE place to be Memorial Day weekend. See