This weekend, the Mission District was alive with Latin rock music, the sounds of bongo drums being beat, and a palpable appreciation for the first kind of normal in-person Carnaval festival hosted in San Francisco since the pandemic began.
Last year, SF’s Carnaval festival — a late-May festivity that pays homage to Latin American, Caribbean, and African diversity in the Bay Area — was effectively shuttered; the festival's 2020 iteration was morphed into a virtual experience that included a few IRL niceties, like a small job fair, COVID-19 testing site, and a few vendors.
But as vaccination rates continue to climb in the city, the famous street fair evolved into some semblance of its former self for 2021.
Celebrate safer at Carnaval SF today & Sunday in the Mission! SF protocols for safety & social distancing will be implemented in order to ensure everyone's safety.— SFDPH (@SF_DPH) May 29, 2021
Plus, free vaccinations for those ages 12+!
More info: https://t.co/R5DZLWIsVN #VaccinateSF #ProtectOurCommunity pic.twitter.com/m9wlsNsPbh
Food vendors were seen plating authentic Afro-Caribbean dishes; people, young and old, were performing "friendship dances"; stations were dedicated to hands-on crafting for kids, while adults could browse nearby artisan products — like handcrafted wallets, locally-sourced honey, a massive assortment of succulents, and other potable flora, and more. (However, there was no parade this year.)
And in keeping with the times: COVID-19 vaccination and testing centers were on-site, ready to help any of the 23% of San Franciscans who've yet to receive their first dose.
If you missed out on the two-day event’s happenings — which officially ended today at 5 p.m. — here are some of our favorite tweets and IG uploads of San Francisco's Carnaval festival for 2021.
This CARNAVAL is an amazing Latinx gathering showing it’s support for each other en #SanFrancisco!! The Latinx community is loudly celebrating #LaCulturaCura and #OurExistenceisourResistence! pic.twitter.com/J7VUAgEHb7— Jorge Ramos, PhD (@JorgeRH2O) May 29, 2021
Woah!! Que impresión este concierto con La Doña!!! Wow!!! After many zooms and YouTube’s this is her first live big show concert in #SanFrancisco!! #LaDoña415 insta is @ladona415 and read more about her in this @NPR interview: https://t.co/slgJ4iVH6f pic.twitter.com/I419IXppnH— Jorge Ramos, PhD (@JorgeRH2O) May 29, 2021
Image: Instagram via @carnavalsf