By Eduardo Morales, Ph.D.
Carnival San Francisco is the largest multicultural festival on the West Coast! This year it will be a two-day festival produced by CANA, a 501c-3 organization that stands for Cultura y Arte Nativa de las Americas. The festivities will take place on May 28 and 29 with the grand parade on Mission Street on Sunday, May 29, and with festivities on Harrison Street between 16th and 24th Streets. The theme this year is observing and recognizing the Muxes of Oaxaca (sometimes known as third gender) and the spectrum of love and how Latinx exist through Colores de Amor or with colors of love. Carnival San Francisco is a multicultural celebration with music, dance, and artistry showcasing Latin American, Caribbean, and African diasporic cultures and the talents of Mission District residents. This is a celebration of people of all creeds, sexualities, gender identities, and abilities.Typically, Carnival is celebrated before Ash Wednesday and before the Lent season. Parades and street fairs are common in Latin America and the Caribbean countries. San Francisco had its first celebration on February 25, 1979, and that day was a windy cold and rainy Sunday. It was later moved to the last Sunday of May when the weather tends to be more agreeable in San Francisco.
This two-day festival was postponed due to the COVID pandemic, so there has been notable anticipation about the 2022 Carnival. There will be five main stages with music from over 50 local performing artists and over 400 vendors. The festival will include international food, dancing, and various booths for buying goods and obtaining information about numerous organizations. Carnival embraces an atmosphere of harmony and revelry for families, couples, and friends of all ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds.
The grand parade on May 29 will start on 24th and Bryant streets and go west onto Mission Street until 15th Street. Expect to see a lot of glitter and feathers! The parade each year features the King and Queen who were selected among contestants in a competition to serve as the official Ambassadors of Carnival San Francisco for a one-year reign. Grand stand seating tickets are available on the internet starting $25: https://tinyurl.com/mupzy8f9 The event will be accessible through live-stream access and will be co-presented by KQED. Participants include bands like El Tigre del Norte and Bang Data along with dancers, DJs, and Mayor London Breed.
This is a true San Francisco event inclusive of family and its community. For more information: https://carnavalsanfrancisco.org/
AGUILAS June Retreat AGUILAS’ June Retreat will take place on Saturday, June 4, and again on Saturday, June 11, 2022, from 10 am to 4 pm. This two-day retreat will be for Latinx gay/bisexual men to have fun and learn about various ways to prevent HIV/AIDS and stay healthy. The theme of this year's retreat is Taking Action: for your Rights, Health, and Life. The retreat will include a mixture of workshops and fun activities to be held at the SF LGBT Center. Participants will be able to explore their identities, network with other participants, and celebrate! Each day of the retreat will start promptly at 10 am with a first round of workshops on the second floor of the SF LGBT Center followed by lunch and additional sessions. Funded by the California State Office of AIDS, this year's retreat is designed for and byLatinx gay and bisexual men.