Carnaval San Francisco has been occurring on Memorial Day Weekend for 38 years. It celebrates the diverse Latin American and Caribbean roots that use to make up the Mission District. The diminishing population of Latinos lost to luxury condominiums, “hipster” stores and rising rent prices didn’t limit the representation of what once was. The parade included music, dance, and artistic expression that had attendees dancing, smiling, and taking photos to memorialize their experience. A pride could be felt in the air that told you, a part of us will always be here.
United Farm Workers co-founder and Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta lead the way as this year’s Grand Marshal. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2012 by President Barack Obama. She’s been fighting for what’s right since the 1960’s and continues to speak out for those who haven’t found their voice. Carnaval San Francisco’s Executive Producer Roberto Hernandez thought she was the perfect choice to lead the way, her advocacy for farm workers and the environment fit perfectly with this year’s theme Viva La Madre Tierra – Long Live Mother Earth.
There’s also a 2-day festival with food, live music, vendors and an auto showcase. This years feature musician was Venezuela-born Oscar D’León. CARNAVAL San Francisco is one of the largest multi–cultural celebrations on the West Coast. It’s a reminder of how important it is to know your roots and how diverse cultures make life more beautiful. It’s also free, making it a great way to spend your weekend with family and friends. You can find out more about the organization at: http://www.carnavalsanfrancisco.org
Slide Show by: Ana Pines