SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Thousands of people gathered for a huge block party as the 41st annual Carnaval San Francisco kicked off Saturday in the Mission District. An even bigger crowd is expected to attend Sunday for the Grand Parade at 9:30 in the morning.

The festival will be held on Harrison Street, but the parade will run down 24th Street, before heading north on Mission.

For this community, it’s a weekend they look forward every year. People especially enjoy the music, dance and food.

“I think it’s beautiful, people come out here to enjoy the good food. Nothing like the Mission, you know,” said Tim Rodriguez.

Kaci Lee added, “It brings everyone together, it’s a celebration for everybody.”

READ: Your 2019 Carnaval Survival Guide: How To Navigate The Mission This Weekend

With the extra foot and car traffic, the Mission District gets a bit congested at this time of year. No parking signs line many of the stores in this neighborhood.

There are people like Franco Esqueda who help residents come in and out of the barricades areas. He will be manning his post for 13 hours.

Esqueda has done this for the last 6 years. He raises money for a cause close to his heart and he’s out here rain or shine.

“I’m ready. I got my poncho my rain gear because it gets cold at night,” said Esqueda.

Those planning to attend should be prepared for the weather and traffic congestion on Sunday. Many of the city’s roads will be closed off an hour before the parade.

For a list of street closures, Muni reroutes and schedules, go to

For a full list of Carnaval San Francisco activities and locations, go to