41st Annual Carnavale and Grand Parade
With the summer so clearly within our sights, we here in the Bay Area are getting ready for one of the most exciting signs of warm weather and vivacity: Carnavale! While many cities throughout the world celebrate Carnavale in their own way (with special shout-outs going to Venice and Rio de Janeiro, of course), San Francisco deserves special recognition for its own take on the worldwide festivities.
For 41 years, Carnavale has been a time for San Franciscans to celebrate all things colorful and sensuous while also putting some special emphasis on the rich heritages from both Caribbean and Latino cultures that make up our wonderful Bay Area. The event attracts upwards of 400,000 individuals who flock to Harrison Street on Memorial Day Weekend to eat plate after plate of food from around the world, purchase unique hand-made and artisanal gifts, and, more than anything, watch the Carnavale Grand Parade.
The Grand Parade is the culminating event of the Carnavale celebrations, and as anyone who has seen it before can tell you it is not to be missed. Beginning on May 26th at 9:00 in the morning, the parade will wind along Harrison Street, dazzling all in attendance with the electrifying floats, flamboyant costumes, and the nearly blinding amount of decoration. There are truly no words to give the event justice.
In addition to the Grand Parade, Carnavale is home to so many other wondrous delights that we can’t even begin to get a comprehensive list here. What we can tell you is that you should expect to hear music from around the globe, watch dancers performing traditional and original steps, and wander through the marketplace where local artists will be selling their wares.
Every year, Carnavale in San Francisco has a theme. This year, the decided upon theme is La Cultura Cura (Culture Heals). It is a direct response to our increasingly troubled times, this theme, and it carries on its back the tremendous hope that through cultural exchange and knowledge we can begin to bridge the ever-widening gaps separating people from one another. We hope that you will find your way to this free event where music, art, dancing, costumes, and love are all out in all their beauty.