San Francisco celebrates 40th annual Carnaval

- The streets of San Francisco came alive Sunday morning with the sounds of calypso and samba funk as the city celebrated the 40th anniversary of Carnaval.

More than 3,000 performers and 80 groups are participating this year, in an event famous for its parade of low riders and wild dancing. "I love showing off my car with people," said Gil Ayala, who showed off his 1977 Pontiac LeMans. "What's the point of the parade without the low riders?" 

Dominic Flores, a parade performer, said he loves "all the different cultures" who come out to sing and dance.

Added performer Joana Matero, "I think it is a time for us to say we're here. We exist and we're part of the culture of the United States." 

Historians say they believe the first "modern" Caribbean Carnaval originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the late 18th century when a flood of French settlers brought the Fat Tuesday masquerade party tradition with them to the island.

One of the most well-know carnivals however, takes place in Brazil just before Lent. Carnaval Rio de Janerio is considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723.

For a lineup of San Francisco performances and events, click here. 


   

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