During the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the websites for each of the events listed for the latest updates on their schedules.
Carnaval San Francisco is a beloved three–day event featuring a Grand Parade and two–day Festival, on Harrison Street from 16th to 24th Streets, celebrating music and cultural elements from Latin American and Caribbean traditions. It began in 1979 when approximately 300 drummers and dancers, all dressed in colorful traditional costumes, paraded through Precita Park. Since then it has become an annual cultural showcase, attracting over 400,000 individuals to the Mission District to dance the samba, savor traditional foods and just party.
The event draws renowned Carnaval ensembles from Latin America and the Caribbean, and internationally acclaimed headliners, making it the largest multi-ethnic festival in California. Held each May over the Memorial Day weekend, Carnaval San Francisco has built community by uniting a diverse cross-section of the population, celebrating multicultural arts and traditions, and encouraging increased understanding and community pride. Thousands of performers spend months creating costumes and rehearsing music and dance performances. Family oriented, with an atmosphere of harmony and revelry, Carnaval San Francisco provides a venue for multigenerational contingents, performing artists, and audience members, as well as offering an opportunity for parents and grandparents to introduce and reinforce their respective heritages to younger generations.
The 2016 theme, “¡Viva La Madre Tierra!” , celebrated Mother Earth's prevalence in many cultures worldwide as the manifestation of the natural world. She is the life giver and the sustainer of life; from her womb she gave origin to all the plants, animals, and people.
Full Carnaval details: carnavalsanfrancisco.org
CINCO DE MAYO
An amazing all day outdoor festival celebrating the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, and celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States in honor of a military victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon III. Family friendly, fun for all ages celebration of Mexican and Latino culture! A full day of music, vendor booths, kids' zone, and special entertainment! The festival offers a number of interesting craft engagements such as beading or weaving.
The San Francisco Cinco de Mayo festival is cancelled for 2020 due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
DIAS DE LOS MUERTOS
The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día De Los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and helping support their spiritual journey.
In San Francisco The Procession, held on November 2, starts at Byrant and 22nd Streets, and travels through the heart of the Mission on 24th Street.
Full details: dayofthedeadsf.org
MORE EVENTS IN THE MISSION
CUESA closes down parts of 24th and Valencia Streets and offers fun, food and healthy family activities: sundaystreetssf.com
CESAR CHAVEZ HOLIDAY PARADE
Celebrating the life and work of labor and civil rights leader Cesar E. Chavez along the heart of 24th Street: cesarchavezday.org
GOLDEN HYDRANT COMMEMORATION
Mission Neighborhood Centers showcases the best of Mexican and Latin American culture with diverse foods, music, dance and artistry for the whole family: atlasobscura.com/places/the-golden-fire-hydrant-san-francisco-california
One of the largest transgender pride events in the world, it starts with a gathering in Dolores Park then marches to City Hall: transmarch.org
Lesbian and bisexual women join together to celebrate unity and visibility, gathering in Dolores Park then marching up 18th Street into the neighboring Castro: thedykemarch.org
SF MIME TROUPE
The Troupe produces socially relevant free theater and performs in parks before the broadest possible audience, opening and closing their seasons in Dolores Park: www.sfmt.org
PHONO DEL SOL
A ticketed all-day, all-ages fest in Potrero del Sol Park (25th Street and Utah) in the Mission with a a stellar collection of local food trucks to join the fun: phonodelsol.com
20TH STREET BLOCK PARTY
A free event filled with the best live music, food and drinks designed to introduce the Bay Area to a vibrant array of local businesses: 20thstreetblockparty.com
SAN FRANCISCO LOWRIDER COUNCIL'S KING OF THE STREETS PARADE
CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS CONCERT
The Mission Dolores Basilica Choir is a volunteer group of mixed voices. They perform an acclaimed annual Christmas concert and sing at Sunday services: missiondolores.org