SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On this holiday weekend, a celebration of Latin American heritage and culture. San Francisco's iconic Carnaval Grand Parade is celebrating its 45th year with crowds returning to pre-pandemic levels and a big boost to small businesses in the Mission District.
It's a celebration like no other, a kaleidoscope of colors, feathers and characters.
"Carnaval means to me a celebration of life, I am Frida Kahlo back from the dead to give you a taste of what life can be," said Jean Franco from Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.
For many, Carnaval San Francisco Grand Parade is a must-see event, a celebration of 23 Latin American and Caribbean Countries.
The Aguirre Family has saving a spot on 24th Street for years.
"To me, it means a kind of day for a lot of cultures get together, it's all different, but it's all beautiful in their own way, you know," said Stephanie Aguirre.
May grey brought a chill but this street party kept going.
"I mean we missed a bit of sun this year, but it's ok, Carnaval's pulse and beat keeps everyone alive and warm," said Carnaval San Francisco executive director, Rodrigo Duran.
Organizers estimate 400,000 people came to the Mission for Carnaval and that means a real economic boost for the neighborhood.
"Besides my business, it's helping out a lot of others on 24th Street period," said Asher Rous.
Asher Rous' family-owned coffee shop, Temo's has seen many challenges.
"We've seen a decline through the pandemic of foot traffic, to have people like this come out to San Francisco and witness the Carnival, shopping around to all these small businesses on 24th Street means a lot," Rous added.
But for this Mission community, Carnival is raising more than just profits.
"More importantly, it's supporting and healing our souls. We've got to look within and heal ourselves after the pandemic, no better way to do that than dancing and feeling the movements all those cultures and traditions at Carnaval," said Duran.
If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live