Carnaval San Francisco




Carnaval San Francisco 2009

Warms Up a Chilly Memorial Day Weekend


The weather may have been chilly but it was hot, hot, hot in the Mission District for the 31st Annual Carnaval San Francisco 2009. In spite of the luke warm economy and the chilly weather, Carnaval San Francisco 2009 was an artistic success and one of the most beautiful extravaganzas of multicultural dance and music in the Bay Area. Over 60 fabulous contingents representing the global community and some incredible fusions dazzled spectators that lined the more than 20 blocks of the Parade route.  The Parade contingents outdid themselves in costumes, props, floats and Carnaval spirit.  Ingenuity was the key with groups like Bras Arte/Ginga Brasil parading in recycled costumes from 20 years of participating in Carnaval San Francisco.   


The staff of Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc. (MNC) and the San Francisco Cultural Arts Traditions (SF CAT) Board of Directors wish to congratulate Rita Barela and her staff at Rita Barela Productions, Inc., (RBP)    for their work in producing this year’s event in partnership with MNC and securing corporate sponsors in this tough economy.  RBP’s staff was headed up by Ashley Montgomery, Managing Partner, along with Christine Andrews,   Administrative Assistant. The Production Team consisted of:   Bernardo Gonzalez, Festival Coordinator; Arturo Carrillo, Parade Coordinator; Denise LaMott, Public Relations, and Juan Gonzalez, Beverage Coordinator.  Working with the Production Team was Karol An Meier, MNC’s Cultural Arts Liaison, and Peter L. Balogh, chair of MNC’s Board Cultural Arts Committee (BCAC). 




Specials Thanks 

We Couldn’t Have Done It Without You!


Glenn Evans of Sambao Paro O Povo for sponsoring the King and Queen Float created by float designer extraordinaire, Dave Thomas…The Anonymous Donor who generously contributed the $1000 cash prize for the King and Queen winners, King Rodson and Queen Rebeca… All the volunteers who helped make the event possible from the Cultural Arts Advisory Committee to the person who swept the street clean on Sunday night… Alfredo Pedroza from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services for his continued support in and out of City Hall throughout the CSF season… SF District 9 Supervisor David Campos, who was born in Guatemala, co-hosted us at City Hall and brought his parents up from Los Angeles had a great time in the luxury box across from the Mission Masonic Temple near 23rd & Mission.



Have a Voice in C'SF 2010

Join the Cultural Arts Advisory Committee
Next Meeting: Thursday July 9th 7pm at Mission Neighborhood Centers Inc. 362 Capp St.


Volunteers from the artistic and professional community are needed to join the Cultural Arts Advisory Committee (CAAC) to develop recommendations for Carnaval San Francisco 2010.   This group is responsible for selecting the annual theme along with planning and hosting the many events that make up the Carnaval season. Volunteers must be able to attend monthly meetings and volunteer periodically at events including the City Hall Reception, King and Queen Competition, etc.  For more information, contact: karolanmeier[at]





San Francisco Cultural Arts Traditions

Elects Board of Directors


The San Francisco Cultural Arts Traditions (SF CAT), is the new nonprofit created to promote cultural events including Carnaval San Francisco, recently elected its first Board of Directors.   The new officers are familiar faces:

  • Jake Pavlovsky, President
  • Chris Collins, Treasurer
  • Sandra Acevedo Hanns, Secretary

The SFCAT Board, whose members also include  Elizabeth Tippin and Carlos Cordova, is working with TCC Group to develop a long range strategic plan for the new organization.  Contact Jake Pavlovsky  jakeskey[at]




High Fashion Carnaval Merchandise

Still Available at Low Prices

Not too late to stop by Rita Barela  Productions’ new location in the Mission at  400 Treat at 17th  Street, (Unit F), and purchase some cool Carnaval merchandise – ladies and men’s tees, baseball caps, and canvas tote bags for only $10 each.  No year or date so the style is timeless.  Perfect gifts for friends and family around the world!  For info call 415-621-2255 or Christine[at]


Newsletter: Editor Karol An Meier
April 2009 Drumbeat Newsletter
July 2009 Drumbeat Newsletter

Carnaval San Francisco in Photos    
Queen of Carnaval SF 09 by Carlos B Cordova.
Our 2009 Queen REBECA DE SOUZA by Carlos Cordova Carnaval San Francisco 2009. San Francisco, California. May 24, 2009
Pregnant Samba Dancer by pikabon.

Pikabon has been one of Carnaval SF's most popular photographers on flickr for many years including 2009

Smile for the Digital Camera


Carnaval San Francisco


Anyone who has been around Carnaval San Francisco for awhile will no doubt  remember the incredible Mission One Hour Photo shop across from the street from Mission Cultural Center. The day  after Carnaval the front of the shop was strewn with  large, oversize   binders filled with Carnaval photos that were all individually coded so Carnaval fans could order and  purchase prints.    While Mission One Hour Photos lives only as a memory like vanishing Kodrachrome film,  Carnaval San Francisco continues to be a photographer’s delight.  Thanks to the many professional and freelance photographers who shared their sites, links with us:


The "Most Interesting" "2009 Carnaval San Francisco" Pics @

  [Check out the result from an informal contest sponsored by]

Upcoming Events

Please support  fundraisers that benefit  Carnaval contingents.

Carnaval San Francisco


  • Jamaican American Association of Northern California Annual Fourth of July Picnic, Saturday, July 4  from noon to 7:00 pm in Joaquin Miller Park, 3590 Sanborn Drive Oakland.   Bring a dish to share.  Food, music, games, activities for kids.  For info call 510-464-1300 or go to

  • Hot Pink Feathers w/ Blue Bone Express at Cafe Van Kleef        "Burlesque n Brasss, 4th of July Edition"
     Night of Mayhem
    Host: Burlesque n' Brass
    Start Time: Tomorrow, July 4 at 9:00pm
    Where: Cafe Van Kleef

    More details RSVP, or sign up for newsletter follow the link below:


  • SambaDa with special guests Banda Julio Remelexo at Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley on Friday, July 10.  General admission $13; students, $10. All ages welcome.  For info,  call 510-525-5024.




  • Brazilian Dance Workshop in Tulum, Mexico sponsored by Sambamora and Susan Bohlken.  Five days of dance at Zamas Beach Cabana Hotel from August 11 to August 15 for $200 for workshop only.  Airfare and hotel are extra.  Workshop led by Raffaela Falchi, leader of Sambamora.  Live music provided by Alfie Macias from Loco Bloco/ Blocura.  For info go to [email protected] or call 510-418-1276.



  • The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present, a look at the little known history of the enslaved Africans brought to Mexico in the 1500s and their contributions to Mexican culture.  At the Oakland Museum of California through August 23, 2009.  Organized by the National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago,  the exhibit features masks, prints, movie posters, photographs, sculptures and musical instruments.  Exhibit included in price of museum admission.  Special Yanga Celebration Carnaval  presented by the East Bay Center for Performing Arts and the Mexican Consulate on Sunday, August 2 from 12 noon to 4:00 pm.  OM of California located at 1000 Oak at 10th Street, Oakland.  For info go to   Museum is in walking distance from downtown City Center or Lake Merritt  BART stations.



It’s Always Carnaval Somewhere in the World


St. Vincent Carnival 2009 in the Caribbean from June 26 to July 7.  Celebrate in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for Vincy Mas 2009…Notting Hill Carnival in London is billed as the largest street Festival in Europe on Sunday August 30 and UK Bank Holiday, Monday, August 31…  The West Indian American Day Parade and Carnival aka Brooklyn Carnival, on Labor Day weekend, September 6 and 7, 2009…And don’t forget to Come back for Carnaval San Francisco 2010 on Saturday and Sunday, May 29 – May 30.




Save the Date

Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc., Gala 50th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, March 5, 2010 in the City Hall Rotunda.  Go to for more about the past present and future of this venerable community based organization details.



A big thank you to everyone who came out and joined in helping to make 2009 a fantastic beautiful Carnaval to remember that he best things in life are free... Roots of Revival Seeds of Change. Thanks in particular to our sponsors for stepping up to make it possible.

  Presenting Partner




Supporting Partner



Contributing Parnter


Community & Festival Partner




Exclusive Bank of Ninolandia

Parade Partner


Media Partners










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