Celebrating Diversity at Carnaval San Francisco

Celebrating Diversity at Carnaval San Francisco: A Look at the Largest Multicultural Festival in California

Carnaval San Francisco is FUN

Each year, Carnaval San Francisco captivates over 400,000 attendees with its vibrant display of culture and creativity, making it California’s most renowned multicultural festival. The event stretches across 17 blocks on Harrison Street from 16th to 24th Streets, providing a plethora of experiences that are both free and family-friendly. Festival-goers can enjoy performances from 60 local artists on five stages and explore 300 vendor booths offering international foods and crafts, appealing to all demographics.

Celebrating its 45th anniversary, the festival has historically attracted global icons like Celia Cruz and Santana, enhancing its vibrant and celebratory atmosphere. The 2024 theme, "Honor Indigenous Roots," showcases the festival's dedication to cultural authenticity with traditional ceremonies such as the Aztec blessing, complete with copal incense and pre-Columbian dances.

The highlight of Carnaval is the Grand Parade, a spectacular showcase of over 60 contingents and 2,000 dancers representing a diverse array of cultures, from Brazilian samba schools to Native American dance troupes. The parade starts at 24th and Bryant streets, making its way through the city to South Van Ness, surrounded by enthusiastic spectators.

Celebratory Activities at Carnaval San Francisco

Carnaval at the Academy of Sciences' Nightlife Series

Inviting all night enthusiasts: Uncover the secrets of the Academy at NightLife. Experience an evening filled with live DJ performances, outdoor bars, atmospheric lighting, and an array of nearly 60,000 live animals, including our famous albino alligator, Claude. It’s a night that guarantees to be wild.

Navigate through the renowned Shake House and our expansive four-story Osher Rainforest, delve into the newest aquarium exhibit, Venom, stop by the BigPicture exhibit in the Piazza, marvel at the luminescent Philippine Coral Reef, take in the celestial sights from the Living Roof, and then treat yourself to a meal from the Academy Café. Conclude your evening at the West Garden outdoor bar, where you can feast and sip under the starry sky. Get your tickets here!

Two-day Festival

Two-day Festival spans 17 blocks in the Mission District, featuring five primary stages, 50 local artists, and 400 vendors. The festival offers a global culinary experience, dance performances, sampling stations, and entertainment suitable for families, couples, and friends from all ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds.


Grand Parade features an impressive lineup of 60 contingents, showcasing over 3,000 artists who represent a rich tapestry of cultural heritages from Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, Cuba, Peru, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago, Guatemala, El Salvador, and beyond. This vibrant parade, televised by CBS, spans 20 blocks through San Francisco’s historic Latino Cultural District in the Mission, celebrating the diverse cultures and traditions that enrich our community. Click here grab your tickets now!

Carnaval San Francisco is more than just a festival; it's a vibrant expression of community and heritage, offering an immersive experience in the traditions and cultures from around the globe. Whether a first-timer or a returning visitor, the festival promises an unforgettable journey through the world's cultural landscape right in the heart of San Francisco.

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