Share This

Carnaval 2012 San Fran Style [Gal About Town: Fashion and Travel at Your Fingertips]

While in San Francisco, my husband and I had the chance to take in their “Carnaval” Festival, which highlighted the Latino culture of San Francisco, as well as a good bit of food. We did not have a chance to see the parade (I, of course, had wanted to see the costumes) but we did get to take in the festival itself.

The festival was mainly a street fair that spanned down Harrison Street from 17th to 23rd in the Mission District. It was free and open between the hours of 10:00am-6:00pm Saturday, May 26th and Sunday, May 27th. It truly had a little bit of everything for everyone. There was a whole parking lot filled with different bouncy houses and bouncy rides for kids (JP and I were rather jealous that we could not participate in this fun), several bands playing throughout the festival, dance lessons, face painting, art exhibits, clothing vendors, and more food than you could ever eat. There was so much food, that some vendors had multiple stands throughout the festival. You could get kettle corn on every other block if you wanted to. They did have a wine and beer garden for those who wanted to partake, but honestly, it was rather lame. There were only two choices of cheap wine being sold by the glass for the cost of a bottle, and the beers weren’t anything special either (there were five to choose from). There was also a parking lot filled with different basketball themed games sponsored by the NBA & Sprint. You could test your skills at the three-point throw, slam dunk, along with a quick pickup game, among others.  Fuze was giving out free beverages, along with a few other companies giving out token swag, but really, the Fuze drinks were the most useful on a hot, sunny day.

Mostly, I love attending festivals in different cities to see what the local businesses are like. And this festival was truly a great place to discover the local flavor.  A few of the vendors that really stood out to me were:

Sugar Skull: Artist Rob-O truly takes the art of sugar skulls to a different level. His sugary creations of hearts and skulls with the “Dia de los Muertos” feel are so wonderfully detailed, they would make a great conversation piece in your home. My favorites were those of his flaming hearts collection. For a piece of art, they were reasonable priced, beautiful, and very unique. As my husband was disappointed to find out, they are not edible. But if you were in the middle of the apocalypse and REALLY needed some food, you could scrape off the first few layers, eat the rest, and most likely survive. Just FYI. Also, Rob-O ships his lovely creations!

Estilo Clothing: I was really impressed by these graphic t-shirts. They were fresh, fun, and stylish. Great prices, and original. Better than anything your hippest hipster would find at Urban Outfitters (and I’m sure you’re going to see knock offs of Estilo’s at Urban anytime now). The designs are by Jerry Limon and his mission statement for the company is “celebrating music and culture through original designs”. That is a sentiment I can get behind. For Gals my favorite top is the Legend Burnout Tank (it has an elephant on this, it’s a no-brainer). For Guys it’s Da Bay is Bumbin, which features the Golden Gate Bridge and a Cadillac (another no-brainer of awesomeness).  Also, Jerry sells many of his graphic designs as artwork. It’s hip and affordable. Check it out.

Pop Nation: It’s almost impossible for me to find anything I can eat at a street fair. I have an intricate array of food allergies that are rather…limiting. I stumbled upon Pop Nation (a popsicle stand) at the festival and figured I’d see if they had anything I could eat, and then continue living after I had eaten it. To my complete shock, they did. Their popsicles are Vegan, Gluten Free, and use all natural sweetners. They use very little ingredients (cue my ability to eat one of their varieties) and their popsicle sticks are even biodegradable! I had the Strawberries n’ Cream with Basil pop, it was extremely refreshing and down right yummy (in full disclosure, JP wasn’t a fan, but he likes super sweet treats, and this was more savory). Follow these guys on Twitter to see where you can pick up one of their awesome pops: @ThePopNation

Lastly, this company was not at the festival, but it was on the walk between the festival and the hotel. Cups and Cakes Bakery had simply wonderful cupcakes. On Saturdays they have Vegan Cupcakes (which I need since eggs don’t like me so much), and on this particular Saturday their vegan cupcake was Dark Chocolate Merlot. It was heaven in a cupcake. The presentation is simple, it’s not crazily decorated, but it’s rich in flavor. And they are super kind; when we mentioned I was celebrating my birthday, they gave me my cupcake for FREE! So, if you’re in San Fran for your birthday, get over there! Frankly, if you are in San Fran and near the SoMa District, you really should check them out anyway, your taste buds and stomach will thank you. *Additional note, if you have dietary restrictions, they are truly great at working with you to make something that fits your needs or allergies.

Next time, check in to hear my thoughts about the wonderful celebration of the 75th Birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Now Boldly Go!

If you liked this post, please do us the further boon of Liking the Fierce and Nerdy page on FaceBook. Also, we’re giving great stream on Twitter, so do give us follow.