Carnaval Heats Up La Mission [Photo Slideshow!]

Via Rachel Znerold
on Jun 8, 2010
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¡HOT HOT HOT! Diving into Summer with a Splash of Culture: San Francisco’s Mission

The pulsing beats bounce off buildings, finding their way around corners and into my ears while I am still five blocks away from the Carnaval parade route. As I approach Mission Street, my stroll becomes a salsa—the festive energy is contagious—and I am captivated by the barrage of colors, feathers and sequins exploding off the bodies of the beautiful dancers.

I am suddenly craving sliced mango and spicy mayo-slathered corn, and although it is only ten in the morning, a cerveza would really hit the spot.

It’s hot. It’s always hot for Carnaval.

“Colors of Sound, Splashes of Culture,” San Francisco’s Annual Carnaval, is the largest multicultural celebration in California, with over 400,000 participants gathering to showcase their rich cultural traditions throughout the weekend.

In the face of increasing discrimination against immigrants, and mounting xenophobia, both socially and politically, this year’s festivities are infused with a heightened sense of pride and support for the Latin American community. The mix of scantily clad women, skilled Samba troupes, Indigenous Aztec dancers, and t-shirts reading “Stay Brown” (promoting the Bratt brothers’ new film, La Mission) make for an inspiring and dynamic display.

I am enthralled.  At this moment, I too, am filled with pride. I am proud to live in this neighborhood, where all colors, shapes and sizes are embraced.  I am proud to witness such a spectacular creative expression. I am proud to be dancing in the street.

¡Viva La Mission!



About Rachel Znerold

Growing up in the Colorado countryside, Rachel Znerold knew early on that she was different…she saw dazzling beauty in decomposing logs and expressed her individuality with wild drawings on her sneakers. Now, as a prolific painter, eco-fashion designer, performance artist and writer, Rachel makes a life out of making art. With a degree in Fine Art and Advertising from The University of Colorado in Boulder, Rachel began to pursue her art career full time. Aiming to share her awe of the world and the art of the everyday, she has taught painting, fashion design, and performance at a variety of schools, museums, and non-profits. Rachel has been commissioned to paint murals in Colorado, New Zealand and Mexico, and eventually landed in San Francisco, becoming a part of the Mission District’s vibrant art scene. Rachel believes art is instrumental in building strong community and a culture of social activism.


One Response to “Carnaval Heats Up La Mission [Photo Slideshow!]”

  1. Abigail Wick says:

    What fantastic images and spot-on rendering of the Mission District's Carnaval hullabaloo! Ms. Znerold's command of image, moment, and essence inspire me to become a better writer. I look forward to more handiwork by this estimable columnist. For a sweet article about the author herself, check out the following Elephant Journal feature:

    What a gem!