Diverse shows at Chavez festival 

Ethics in the workplace, justice, nonviolence, youth education, the arts and community spirit are all being celebrated this weekend in honor of Cesar E. Chavez.

Saturday marks the 11th annual Cesar E. Chavez Holiday Parade and Festival in The City’s Mission district. Organizers of the gathering — which is geared toward families and has a focus on youth — call it the largest event in Northern California honoring the labor activist and United Farm Workers founder, who died April 23, 1993.

Among the range of activities are a classic car show, performances from local youth groups, arts and crafts and music. Appearing at 4 p.m. is the Bay Area-based Cuban Cowboys, playing a mix of traditional Cuban music and indie rock.

Other entertainers include Dr. Loco’s Rockin’ Jalapeño Band, En Vivo, Abel and the Prophets, Frisco Project, the youth ballet folklorico group Cuicacalli, Danza Azteca Xitlalli, Mariachi Juvenil de San Francisco, Dance Mission Theater’s Grrrl Brigade and vocalist Margarita.

Festival director Eva Royale says the event has grown through the years, with steadily increasing involvement from youth and community groups.

“The festival is a great way to bring the community together, celebrating the talents of our local youth and educating about Cesar’s strong beliefs about equality,” Royale says. “Cesar gave his life working for social justice and for the rights of farmworkers to belong to a union, to have a decent wage and safe working conditions.”

In honor of Chavez’s dedication to education and youth, this year’s programing includes an exhibition of art by contest winners, a teach-in on Chavez’s life and work, and an achievement award ceremony recognizing Hispanic honor roll students in San Francisco public schools.

Events are presented by an organizing committee in collaboration with the Lower 24th Street Merchants and Neighbors Association, Latin American Teachers’ Association and Autumn Press.

Organizers note that the fair won’t have food booths. Visitors are encouraged to sample local cuisines of restaurants in the area.

IF YOU GO

Cesar E. Chavez Holiday Parade and Festival

Where: 24th Street, between Treat and Bryant streets, San Francisco
When: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: Free
Contact: (415) 621-2665, www.cesarchavezday.org
Note: The parade begins at 11 a.m. at Dolores Park, 19th and Dolores streets, preceded by an assembly at 10 a.m.

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Maggie McKeever

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