Monday, May 25, 2015

Festival in the City - SF Carnaval

SF Carnaval 2015 - Parade by roland luistro, on FlickrWe stayed in town over the Memorial Day weekend. What to do during Memorial Day weekend in San Francisco? One word. Carnaval. 

Mijo and I saw Carnaval again and it was upbeat, lots of music, fiesta atmosphere, and lots of food. It was like a big dance party! This is one of the reasons I love living in San Francisco.

Every month of May, the Mission District becomes the focal point because of its annual parade and festival called SF Carnaval. I've never been to any Carnavals held in Brazil nor in the Carribean islands so I cannot tell you how close or authentic the SF Carnaval is. I love and absolutely enjoy the event judging from my experience attending the SF Carnaval four or five times now.

The weather in the city this time of the year is a crap shoot. It can be summer-like or it can be cold because of the marine layer. The weather that Sunday during Carnaval was cold and drizzly. I thought about the parade participants especially little kids from local schools.

The parade started at 9:30am. Mijo got off at 24th St. BART a little before 10am. We found a good vantage point to watch the parade somewhere on Mission St. between 24th and 23rd Sts. We still caught the last parts of the Low Riders which I am assuming to be the beginning of the parade. The parade started from 24th St. and Bryant St. so I guess it took time for the parade to get to Mission and 24th St.
SF Carnaval 2015 - Low riders

Of course, the floats, props, costumes, music and dancing are the main attractions of the parade. The props like this giant mascot is always present in the parade as well as the colorful costumes.
SF Carnaval 2015 - Samba Conmigo SF Carnaval 2015 - Parade props 

I love the fast beat of the drums. The dancing is lovely, of course. The kids, their teachers and their parents are so cute in their Latin costumes while they try their Latin dance numbers. This is also one parade where I see lots of women and a lot of them are showing lots of skins. I feel like a dance party everytime I watch this parade!

Here are my favorite videos. 
  IMG_3972 IMG_3970 IMG_3969 
IMG_3966 IMG_3941

IMG_3930 IMG_3923 IMG_3921 IMG_3917  IMG_3916 
Of course, it was not just all about the drums and samba and carnaval. The other countries in Central America were represented as well. Most, if not all, Central American countries had floats. The ones the caught my attentions were the floats from Mexico, El Salvador and Panama.
  SF Carnaval 2015 - Mexican dance  SF Carnaval 2015 - El Salvador contingent 
SF Carnaval 2015 - Panama contingent 

Of course, no Carnaval is complete without Latin street food. After the parade, I was hungry. Mijo and I found these booth selling sope (soh-peh), fried quesadilla and Salvadorean style tamales.
SF Carnaval 2015 - Street food  SF Carnaval 2015 - Supe and quesadilla   
SF Carnaval 2015 - Salvadorean goodies SF Carnaval 2015 - Salvadorean tamales 
This is Mission Street right after the parade.
SF Carnaval 2015 - Mission Street


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