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Carnaval San Francisco 2016

Details on One of the Largest Celebrations on Memorial Day Weekend

Carnaval San Francisco is a large, two-day celebration in the colorful Mission District. This year's event is on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, 29, 2016.

This SF festival celebrates Latin American and Caribbean arts and traditions. It runs from 10am to 6pm both days.

carnaval dancers parade

The highlight of the weekend is the Grand Parade on Sunday, May 29. It starts at 9:30am and lasts until around 2pm.

During the parade, you will have the chance to see more than 30 music and dance groups. Each one showcases elements of the year's theme. Here are just a few pictures from previous years.

parade in sf

dancers in parade

performers green

colorful dancers

The parade starts on 24th and Bryant Streets. From there, it heads west to Mission Street. It continues north on Mission to 17th Street, and ends at 17th and Harrison.

Here is a map of the parade route.

carnaval parade route

More Festival Details

Carnaval San Francisco stretches out along eight city blocks of the Mission (find other things to do in this SF neighborhood). Most of the festival takes place on Harrison Street between 16th and 24th Streets.

The event is free, although they usually request a donation at the entrances.

This family-friendly event includes food, music, dance, and arts & crafts. You will also find other fun activities throughout the weekend.

Live Music

On every corner of the festival, DJs will be spinning Latin and Caribbean music such as Cumbia, Cha Cha Cha, Tango, and Salsa. You will also hear Hip Hop Rancheras, Samba, and Reggae music.

Carnaval San Francisco will also include several areas of live music.

The main stage is at the corner of 17th and Harrison. This is where you will find the most popular performers during the festival.

You will also find entertainment in the following locations:

  • 20th and Harrison
  • 22nd and Harrison
  • Inside the Art Pavilion
  • At the 18th Street DJ Booth
  • At the 19th Street DJ Booth
  • At the 22nd Street DJ Booth

Click here for a full schedule of performances this year.

Places to Stay

If you plan to stay all weekend long, then I recommend finding a great hotel in Union Square. This centrally located district is just a quick 15 to 20 minute bus ride away from the Carnaval San Francisco Festival.

Click here for my recommendations in this district.

Click here to find great deals in Union Square on TripAdvisor.com.

Tips to Get Here

From Union Square

  • BART: The fastest way to get here from Union Square is by taking BART. It picks up at the underground station at Market & Powell Streets. Take it to either the 16th or 24th Street Stations. Then head six blocks east to Harrison Street (you will need to cross Mission Street to get there).

  • 27-Bryant Bus: You can also pick up the 27 on the corner of Market and 5th Streets. This will take you to 18th and Bryant. Once you get off the bus, walk two blocks east to Harrison Street.

From Fisherman's Wharf

  • 49-Mission Bus: The best way to get here from Fisherman's Wharf is by taking the 49-Mission bus. Pick it up on the corner of Van Ness Avenue and North Point Street. It will take you all the way to the Mission District. Hop off at the 18th Street stop and head across Mission Street toward Harrison. It's about a six block walk.

    • Note: Since the parade goes down Mission Street on Sunday, the route for this bus will change that day. You will probably need to get out at the 16th Street stop on Sunday in order to get to the festival and parade. Ask the bus driver for the stop closest to your destination.

Half-Priced Tickets for this Weekend

Are you looking for additional events this weekend? Here are a few that are offering tickets at up to 50% off.

*Small service fee applies.

Other Top Events on Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Event at the National Cemetery: One of the biggest events this weekend is the Memorial Day is at the National Cemetery in the Presidio. This event starts with a military parade. That is followed by speeches by top local officials. It ends at around 1:30pm with a 21-gun salute. Click here for more details on this annual event.

SF Theater: Every Memorial Day Weekend, you will find a variety of theater productions. On stage, you will find everything from large productions such as the Lion King, to small, intimate shows at small theaters throughout the city. Click here to learn more about this weekend's theater shows.

Free Walking Tours: If you want to learn more about the history of SF, then head out on one of the free walking tours offered by SF City Guides. Each day, you will find around six to 10 tours a day. They cover topics such as Fisherman's Wharf, the Gold Rush, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Click here for a schedule of walking tours for this holiday weekend in SF.

Tours & Other Events: All weekend long, you will find dozens of other tours and events throughout SF and the Bay Area. The best way to save on everything you do this weekend is by looking at the tickets available on Goldstar. This online ticket retailer offers almost 200 tickets for SF and the surrounding communities at up to half off the full retail value. Click here to find discounted tickets to popular tours and other events on Memorial Day Weekend.

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