SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The skies were overcast and the temperatures were cool, but the music was hot and the dance units hotter as thousands gathered Sunday for the annual Carnaval San Francisco Parade in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Under the watchful eyes of grand marshals Bay Area dance legend Blanche Brown and seven-time Grammy nominated musician John Santos, more than 65 parade units representing a spectrum of diversity in San Francisco took to the streets.

It began with with a performance from Aztec dance team — Xiuhcoatl Danza Azteca.

And then the festivities moved to the main event of the day which was the 39th annual parade with the Bay Area low-rider clubs leading the way.

The movable celebration pulsated with comparsas — groups of singers, musicians and dancers — dressed in brilliant costumes pulsating to the beat of music from Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, Trinidad, Tobago, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Guatemala, Africa, Chile and Haiti.

Add in the wonderful smells drifting from the many food stands — and it was hard not to have an amazing experience.

This year’s festival’s theme is “El Corazón de San Pancho/The Heart of San Francisco.”

“Even though the name San Pancho is embraced by many Latinos in the Mission District to refer to their community, it is a name that can refer to all of San Francisco’s sense of unity, inclusion and multicultural pride,” the organizers said.


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