Jim Sowers president of the San Francisco Cultural Arts Traditions will be emcee at this year’s San Francisco Carnaval Festival and parade to be held Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. The festival is on Harrison Street from 16th to 23rd streets. Sunday’s parade starts at 9:30 a.m.
What can people look forward to during the festival?
It’s free. There will be three stages featuring the best local talent with a mix of Latin bands, samba and West Indian music, and space to salsa dance. There will be a variety of great food, such as Asian and West African. There will be a children’s area and beverage garden. The Havana Village Dance Pavillion will have salsa dance classes and much more.
What is the aim of the festival?
It provides an environment for the participants to play a role that they usually wouldn’t. The theme of this year’s Carnaval is "Live your Fantasy," but this is the tradition of nearly every festival. Spectators get to see the diversity of traditions around the Bay Area. It’s family-friendly.
Dr. Ana Maria Polo is the grand marshal. How did this come about?
We usually look for someone that is well-known and respected in the community.
What is your favorite aspect of the weekend?
Hanging out at the stages dancing. You can never do too much dancing. As it’s free, we don’t have to turn anyone away. Its great to watch the locals showing off their stuff and hear great music.