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Photos: Carnaval San Francisco celebrates its 46th year

Photos: Carnaval San Francisco celebrates its 46th year

Adorned with large feather headdresses, Carnaval San Francisco participants colorfully hit the streets during their 46th annual celebration on Sunday.

The Grand Parade had a 60-contingent lineup, with over 3,000 artists representing the cultural heritages of Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, Cuba, Peru, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago, Guatemala and El Salvador,

The free two–day festival covered multiple blocks in the Mission District, with five main stages, 50 local performing artists, 400 vendors and an abundance of international food samplings.

Every Carnaval parade begins with a blessing ceremony from local Aztec dancers, where pungent copal incense is burned while they drum and dance.

Carnaval San Francisco is the largest multi–cultural celebration on the West Coast, and first began in 1978.

The theme for this year’s Carnaval was “Honor Indigenous Roots,” and Rigoberta Menchú, a 1992 Nobel Peace Prize laureate from Guatemala who fought for the rights of Indigenous people in her home country, led Sunday’s Grand Parade.

Rodrigo Duran, executive director of Carnaval San Francisco, estimated this year’s parade attendance at 200,000.

Parade participants march down 24th Street during the Grand Parade Carnaval San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The parade covers 20 blocks in the Mission District with over 3,000 artist participating in the event. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Parade participants perform during the Grand Parade Carnaval San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The parade covers 20 blocks in the Mission District with over 3,000 artist participating in the event. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
A parade participant waves a flag while riding in the back of a lowrider truck during the Grand Parade Carnaval San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The parade covers 20 blocks in the Mission District with over 3,000 artist participating in the event. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
A parade participant performs during the Grand Parade Carnaval San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The parade covers 20 blocks in the Mission District with over 3,000 artist participating in the event. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
People gather to look out their second-story window to watch during the Grand Parade Carnaval San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The parade covers 20 blocks in the Mission District with over 3,000 artist participating in the event. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Parade participants perform during the Grand Parade Carnaval San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The parade covers 20 blocks in the Mission District with over 3,000 artist participating in the event. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
A parade participant performs for the crowd during the Grand Parade Carnaval San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The parade covers 20 blocks in the Mission District with over 3,000 artist participating in the event. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
A parade participant performs during the Grand Parade Carnaval San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The parade covers 20 blocks in the Mission District with over 3,000 artist participating in the event. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
Vatani Lewis Dixon, 2, of San Francisco, points while watching the Grand Parade Carnaval San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The parade covers 20 blocks in the Mission District with over 3,000 artist participating in the event. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
A parade participant performs during the Grand Parade Carnaval San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The parade covers 20 blocks in the Mission District with over 3,000 artist participating in the event. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
A woman holds a Mexican flag while riding in a1967 Chevy SS during the Grand Parade Carnaval San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The parade covers 20 blocks in the Mission District with over 3,000 artist participating in the event. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)