Sponsored link
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Sponsored link
Arts + Culture Culture Carnaval: Best of the Bay 2020 Editors' Pick

Carnaval: Best of the Bay 2020 Editors’ Pick

The riotously colorful San Francisco tradition poured its energy into hosting a community wellness and jobs fair.


From the end of 2020 and into 2021, we’re publishing our Best of the Bay 2020 Editors’ Picks, highlighting some of the tremendous people, places, and things that made the Bay Area shine during one heck of a year. View more Editors’ Picks, plus our Best of the Bay 2020 Readers Poll winners and our Readers Stories of Resilience here.

It’s hard to imagine an event harder to translate into a COVID-safe gathering than the Mission’s beloved Carnaval. The festival and parade packs the streets each year, a glorious celebration dating back to 1979 that doesn’t just honor the neighborhood’s pan-Latinx heritage, but also the very act of coming together.

The prospect of sitting 2020 out was unimaginable for event organizers. “We can’t let our lives be absorbed by the crisis,” Carnaval director Roberto Hernández told 48 Hills. “We have to find a way to keep moving forward, and to improve our health today and for what may come tomorrow.” His nimble organization found a way to do just that, and made a wonderful pivot in hosting Carnaval’s “Salud es Poder” wellness fair that took place on September 5th and 6th.

At the core of the outdoor event (where only 30 attendees were allowed to visit at one time) was a pressing need to keep the community healthy in a time of unprecedented risk. The Department of Public Health administered hundreds of COVID-19 tests a day, free groceries were given out to those in need, and dozens of healers were present, representing both Western and holistic wellness practices.

Of course, it’s hard to be healthy if you don’t have a source of income, and to that end the “Salud es Poder” fair also hosted entities like Goodwill Industries, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office, and the SF Municipal Transit Agency, which were present to talk with community members about potential employment opportunities.

Certainly, it looked a lot different than the sprawling street party that normally constitutes the festival. But the beat of the Mission’s traditional Carnaval festivities was still present, if you listened hard. Small groups of musicians pumped out samba and salsa beats—staying six feet away from attendees, of course. â€”Caitlin Donohue and Carlos Cabrera-LomelĂ­

Sponsored link

More by this author

SF Queer Nightlife Fund: Best of the Bay 2020 Editors’ Pick

The grassroots mutual aid operation raised $300,000 for spot grants to cash-strapped DJs, dancers, drag queens, and more

Chef Joanna Karlinsky: Best of the Bay 2020 Editors’ Pick

She made hundreds of meals in her kitchen for the unhoused and distributed them throughout the community.

Win tickets to stream ‘Promising Young Woman’

"A delicious new take on revenge" hits streaming services January 14. Enter to win a streaming code here.

Carnaval: Best of the Bay 2020 Editors’ Pick

The riotously colorful San Francisco tradition poured its energy into hosting a community wellness and jobs fair.

SF Neighbors Solidarity Network: Best of the Bay 2020 Editors’ Pick

Delivering fresh groceries to seniors—and fighting the effects of social isolation—when mutual aid was more essential than ever
Sponsored link

Most read

[UPDATED] ‘Sacred’ LGBTQ memorial space in Castro threatened by Bank of America

New signs at 'Hibernia Beach' area, traditionally used to mourn community members, warn against shrines

Growth machine wins big in Berkeley

Mayor who ran as a progressive sides with developer-friendly plan for Adeline Corridor.

Make this: La Palma snack wrap

A TikTok-inspired video recipe honoring the 68-year-old Mexicatessen.

Chron rejects comments critical of Boudin editorial

Comments supporting the DA don't seem to violate the paper's standards; why were they blocked?
Sponsored link

You might also likeRELATED