It is not hard to recognize when Carnaval comes through San Francisco. The two-day display of culture, color, music, and all-around revelry celebrated 37 years on May 23-24. One of the main events—The Grand Parade through the Mission District—featured elaborately costumed dancers, lively musicians, and community groups from around the Bay. Thousands of spectators lined the streets and many could not resist stepping into the parade to dance along with parade participants.

This year’s Carnaval theme was Agua Sagrada—Spanish for “Sacred Water.” According to Carnaval’s website, the theme symbolizes “… the universal reverence for the most basic element of life.” Posters reminded attendees that “cada gota cuenta,” or, “every drop counts.”

Follow Carnaval San Francisco on Twitter here.

Words and Photos by Kate Gonzales.

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