Photo courtesy of Oliver Klink





On May 28th, 2017 at 9:30am the Grand Parade kicks–off at the corner of 24th and Bryant Streets. Watch a brilliant procession of contingents, most of which will feature beautifully adorned floats depicting rich multicultural themes and featuring performers who engage and entertain the crowds. Brazilian-style “escola” samba schools with up to 300 members dance through the streets in fantastic feathered headdresses or sweeping Bahia skirts, while Caribbean contingents perform the music and dance of the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Trinidad. Other parade groups include Mexican Aztec performers, traditional African drummers, Polynesian dancers, Japanese drummers, giant puppets and folkloric groups representing Guatemala, Honduras and Bolivia.






Please join us on July 15th for the 2017 Grand Parade Award Ceremony. Save the date, more details to follow.







1ST PLACE WINNER — Fogo Na Roupa


2ND PLACE WINNER — Colectivo Anqari


3RD PLACE WINNER — La Cumbiamba Colombiana





1st place — Brazivedas & Ginga Brasil & Grupo Tania Santiago

2nd place — Batalá San Francisco

3rd place — Grupo Samba Rio (dance director Sandy Del Rio), w/special guest Energia do Samba




1st place — Sistas–Wit–Style

2nd place — Karibbean Vibrationz

3rd place — Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts & Thomas Edison Charter Academy




1st place — Buena Vista Horace Mann K–8

2nd place — Moving Beyond productions with The Marsh Youth Theater, Daniel Webster and George Moscone Elementary Schools

3rd place — Feline Finesse Dance Company




1st place — Morenada 100% Boliviana

2nd place — Rueda Con Ritmo / All Stars

3rd place — Institución Hijos de Santa Rosa de Lima




1st place — Loco Bloco

2nd place — United Rhythms

3rd place — LAW Latin American Workout





Thank You to Our Presenting Sponsor:


kaiser permanente





United Farm Workers Icon Dolores Huerta
Named Grand Marshal of Carnaval Grand Parade

By Christina Calloway

Helping establish the nation’s best-known organization of farm workers and directing the first national boycott of California table grapes are just a few of civil rights leader Dolores Huerta’s many feats.


But of all the roles the legendary organizer has filled, it’s her upcoming role in San Francisco’s Carnaval celebration that she considers noteworthy.


Organizers of the parade found it fitting to invite the union-organizing heroine to do what she does best - lead. Huerta’s service will come in the form of waves and smiles on May 29 when she’ll lead the Carnaval parade as its grand marshal.


“I consider it a very prestigious role,” said Huerta. “I feel honored to be even asked. I think it’s fabulous.”


Among her many accolades, Huerta was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2012 by President Barack Obama.


Huerta’s ties to San Francisco’s historic Mission District trace back to her beginnings as an advocate for the working class farm communities throughout California.


Huerta said many of the neighborhood’s activists supported the United Farm Workers movement in the early 1960’s by gathering food and transporting supplies by caravan to Delano where the organization was being birthed at that time by founder and organizing giant, Cesar Chavez.


Today, Huerta sees many similarities in the battle she fought years ago on behalf of farm workers and and the one that’s been brewing in San Francisco in the last decade. The most daunting issue for Huerta is the pushout of working class families from their neighborhoods due to gentrification and economic displacement.


“The fact that people don’t have places to live...the housing is so bad and it’s not affordable,” she said.


Huerta’s spirit is symbolic of the Mission District and its people, making her the perfect choice to lead the Carnaval parade during this crucial time, said Carnaval San Francisco’s Executive Producer Roberto Hernandez.


“Dolores Huerta’s fighting spirit serves as an inspiration to all of us struggling for the survival of our barrio,” Hernandez said. “She’s both forceful and nurturing -- a mother figure to our community. Dolores spoke out decades ago about the dangers of toxic pesticides to field workers and to our food supply. Her advocacy for farm workers and the environment is in keeping with our 2016 theme, Viva La Madre Tierra - Long Live Mother Earth. She is a remarkable advocate for environmental issues, social justice, women’s rights, and our Latino community as a whole.” (continued here)






Hundreds of people crowded into the Brava Theater on Saturday, April 23rd to watch nineteen dancers compete for the honor of being crowned King and Queen of Carnaval San Francisco 2016. The sold-out show was competitive, with Kianna Rachal, of Sistas–Wit–Style Dance Company, and Carlos Venturo, of Latin Dance Grooves, winning the title. The pair will lead Carnaval San Francisco’s Grand Parade on Sunday, May 29th, which will be televised on KOFY TV.



Kianna is the lead dancer, and choreographer of Sistas–Wit–Style Dance Company founded in 2000. Kianna has been dancing with Sistas–Wit–Style for 15 years teaching and promoting the Caribbean culture in schools and recreational centers. Sistas–Wit–Style have participated in multiple Carnaval SF events such as Carnaval Nights at the Giants Stadium, Exploratorium, De Young Museum, and at the Mayor’s Reception, as well as in the Grand Parade. She has studied and trained with multiple Trinidadian professionals including Jackie Artman, Stasha George and Malik Dance Company and has traveled abroad to participate in Trinidad Carnaval.



Carlos Venturo has danced professionally in his native country of Peru, as well as throughout the Bay Area. He has performed Classical Ballet, Peruvian Dances, American and European Historical Dance, Modern Dance and many other Latin Rhythms.
His passion for dance has lead him to a full time position in the ODC School, and to becoming Artistic Director of Dance Through Time.


Photo courtesy of Dave Golden




Bianca Starr
Bianca Starr has a fierce love and devotion for the community and city in which she resides. Carnaval has been a ritual for her since the age of 5. With a strong identity tied to cultural and social awareness, in addition to being a mother of two young boys, Bianca has carved out a prominent voice of activism in the rapidly changing environment of our city. Always championing women in business & the arts, she is best known as an event producer, a fashion & lifestyle curator as seen in her multi-season online show BStarr.TV, and the owner and operator of one of SF’s most legendary nightclubs, 222 Hyde, 7–years running. Bianca is currently working in SF and NY consulting as Marketing Director for varying projects in the world of fashion including producing this years Gay Pride Fashion Show at City Hall!

(Photo courtesy of Nina Parks)

Karling Aguilera-Fort
Karling Aguilera-Fort is the Assistant Superintendent for the Superintendent’s Zone Mission District. K-12. He provides guidance, support and supervision to the schools in this area of the city of San Francisco where more than 60% of the students are Latino and English Learners and 15% are African American.

As a Spanish Bilingual Special Education Teacher Karling Aguilera-Fort was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2000. He was the President of the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) during 2007-2010. Originally from Venezuela where he worked at different levels in the educational system within Special Education, Karling Aguilera-Fort was invited to teach in the Spanish Bilingual Special Ed setting in the SFUSD. Since the beginning Karling has been involved with the issues of equity and social justice on behalf of the most marginalized students. He attended the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley where he obtained his master in Educational Leadership. Overall, Karling has being involved with education nationally and internationally for 22 years. In addition, he has been the Master of Ceremonies for CABE, Latin American Teacher's Association, and Carnaval 2014.






Annette A. Aguilar
Multi-percussionist, recording artist, educator, producer and bandleader. Annette was born in San Francisco into a family from Nicaragua. She began playing music at the age of eleven. At sixteen, she was recognized for her percussion playing and began sitting in and performing with internationally renowned Latin artists such as members of the Santana Band, Cal Tjader, and Pete & Sheila Escovedo (Sheila E).


She earned a Bachelor in Music from San Francisco State University, a Masters from Manhattan School of Music, and a Masters in Music Education at CUNY Lehman College. She has toured all around the world, worked on Television and film, and has numerous recording credits as a side person. She has performed, toured and shared the stage with artist such as Stevie Wonder, Darlene Love, Tito Puente, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Toshi Reagon, Mose Allison, The Grateful Dead and many others. Annette has worked on several Grammy Award–winning Broadway shows and currently serves as principal timpanist for the Bronx Symphony. In 1992, she formed her Latin and Brazilian jazz group, Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans. StringBeans soon became a popular fixture of New York City’s East Village and Lower East Side music scene. A three–time selection as Latin Jazz Ambassadors by the U.S. State Department, the Kennedy Center, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, the group has toured South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar, sharing their knowledge of music from the Americas and the Caribbean.


She has her own label entitled Eagle Seek Salmon Records. Annette has produced three CDs. Their debut CD Special Friends, and second CD No Cheap Dates, received numerous reviews nationally and abroad. Their third and latest CD is titled The Day Waits for Nobody.,




Linda Zamora Lucero
Linda Zamora Lucero believes in accessible arts and culture for everyone. Linda is the Executive/Artistic Director of Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, former Executive Director of La Raza Graphics Center, and a founding board member of the National Association of Latino Arts & Culture. She received the 2014 Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Award in Arts & Culture. Linda’s artwork has been shown in local, national and international venues, including the Smithsonian and SFMOMA.


A native San Franciscan, Linda has been writing a series of short stories set in the Mission District. “Take the Money and Run – 1968” was published in The Bilingual Review (December 2015). Her newest story, “Balmy Alley Forever” will be published in The Santa Clara Review and The Yellow Medicine Review in spring 2016.




Chalo Eduardo
Chalo Eduardo has toured with Sergio Mendes, Santana, and Mickey Hart. He also performed and choreographed drummers and dancers for Award Shows like the Fox TV Santana special, Ricky Martin Grammy Awards and the Latin Grammy’s with Brazil’s, Daniel Mercury. Born and raised in the Mission district, his history with Carnaval San Francisco began in 1979 contributing to the perpetuation of Brazilian music and dance in the community with Escola Nova de Samba. Currently Chalo is the World Percussion Product Manager for Remo Inc. based in the Los Angeles area. Chalo Eduardo celebrates the completion of his music CD "Brazilicano”. It’s a musical journey with rhythmic influences from North and South America as well as the Caribbean.




Lou Dematteis
Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Lou Dematteis has covered issues of social, political and environmental importance around the globe for over 30 years. A long time Mission District resident, Dematteis was a member of the original San Francisco Carnaval Committee that organized the first SF Carnaval in Precita Park in 1979. As a photographer he documented the first years of Carnaval and some of his images can be seen in the SF Carnaval Mural painted by Daniel Galvaz at the corner 24th Street and South Van Ness. His latest film production “The Other Barrio”, adapted from a short story by SF Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguia and based on true events in the Mission, addresses the fires, gentrification and displacement of low-income communities taking place in the neighborhood.
His work can be seen at:




Juan Pablo Gutierrez
Juan Pablo has remained active in various cultural-arts projects after moving to San Francisco, in the early 1980's, where he worked as director for the Mission Cultural Center For Latino Arts and Culture and founded the Colectivo Del Rescate Cultural, which sponsors the annual San Francisco Day Of The Dead Ritual Procession, which attracts an estimated 150,000 participants and spectators. Part of these programs include workshops in Traditional Magical Paper Cutting, for public school teachers and students.








For information about how you can get involved with dance organizations that participate in the parade, click here.






San Francisco Lowrider Council
Carnaval San Francisco
Kaiser Permanente
Xiuhcoatl Danza Azteca
Ohlone Costanoan People
Dancing Feathers
Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8
ABADÁ-Capoeira San Francisco
Dance Sherman Elementary
Loco Bloco
Moving Beyond productions with The Marsh Youth Theater, Daniel Webster and George Moscone Elementary Schools
Comunidad Yucateca-Asociación Mayab
Mixtiso Latino Indio-Afro-Mexican Urbano Hip hop
Telemundo 48
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts & Thomas Edison Charter Academy
United Rhythms
LAW Latin American Workout
Bolivia Unida
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
El Show de Pepe
Brazivedas & Ginga Brasil
Institución Hijos de Santa Rosa de Lima
Aquarela Brazilian Dance Ensemble and Samba School
La Cumbiamba Colombiana
ViVA Nicaragua
Feline Finesse Dance Company
Fogo Na Roupa
Xipe Totec Esplendor Azteca
Bolivia Corazón de América
Conjunto Folklórico Panamá América
Grand Marshal Dolores Huerta
Instituto de Cultura Raíces del Perú
King Carlos Venturo & Queen Kianna Rachal
San Francisco Muni Railway Cable Cars Division
Distrito de la Amistad
Mas Makers Massive
Oyá Nike & Maracatú Pacífico
Gente Da Cidade
Asiya Shriner
Rueda Con Ritmo/ All Stars
Los Bomberos of San Francisco Fire Department
Grupo Samba Rio (dance director Sandy Del Rio), w/special guest Energia do Samba
Star One w/ Wardell Walters
Club Puertorriqueño de San Francisco
Multicultural CCSF
Tambores Julio Remelexo
SF Pride
Paixão ft. Muito Quente
Morenada 100% Boliviana
Flavaz of D' Caribbean
Zorro & Zorro Jr
Colectivo Anqari
860 AM ESPN Deportes Radio
Karibbean Vibrationz
Elvis Aloha from Hawaii
Diaspora Fitness Mas Band
SambaFunk! Funkquarians
Proyección Folklórica Guatemalteca Xelaju
Grupo Tania Santiago
Club 26 Mix
Batalá San Francisco