Carnaval returned in San Francisco this weekend after the pandemic brought the full celebration to a halt for two years.
People were out enjoying themselves today taking in the food, music and culture. But it also comes at a time when COVID-19 cases have risen in the Bay Area.
The festival is back 17 blocks long and people are really glad to see it and the grand parade returns Sunday.
Organizers have given a lot of thought to putting this together in a fun way and also providing tools and resources related to COVID.
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“It’s awesome, it’s great. I’m connecting with a lot of things cultures,” said Maria Marquez of Lodi.
The event started with a two-day festival featuring Latin American and Caribbean cultural arts and traditions.
On Sunday, the parade returns with more than 60 contingents.
Rodrigo Duran is executive director of the event. He said that during the pandemic, it was scaled back to smaller resource fairs. But this year, there is a full event.
Though they say they were on pause during the planning process, keeping a close eye on covid cases.
“We were on pause on pause throughout this whole time because we were very, very careful about how people could stay safe," he said. "Like I said, we have six different stations for people to get rapid tests for free can get tested on site, get vaccinated get the booster so that we feel safe – we have masks as well."
Some people who attended the event on Saturday told NBC Bay Area that they did give it thought.
“We did and we have a mask actually people are walking around handing out tests which is amazing and on the street today something for everyone,” said Ruby Murray.