Carnaval has come and gone!

Posted on Jun 1, 2010

Carnaval SF 2010 has gone into the record books. It came and was gone in a flash! I was only able to visit for a couple of hours on early Saturday afternoon with my wife and son. There was a time when I used to spend months perhaps an entire year planning, organizing and presenting the entertainment on four different stages for Carnaval but that was a long time ago when there was still real money around to support events for the community. Until recently, our radio station KPFA was one of the sponsors of the stages as well….unfortunately, that’s also in the past as well. Now I’m just a spectator checking out the new generation of carnavalescos, bands, promoters, djs and scene makers do their thing. I wasn’t impressed by anything this year really because I’ve seen everything that could happen and has happened in Carnaval…however I was impressed that SFCAT was able to pull it off this year anyway and kept the spirit of Carnaval alive for the freshly initiated, the fans and guys like me. John Calloway’s SF State Student Salsa/Afro Cuban big band played the best music the whole time I was there. I visited the Havana Pavilion where Dark Rum, Walt Digz, Nick & Serena and company were setting things up despite lacking a huge tent. Their spirits were still high while they were doing the hard work. We actually went there to see Mestiza who didn’t play after all which disappointed all of us. When I inquired back stage about their non appearance, Jimmy, a gruff young guy who ran the show told me that they had a “keyboard issue”. What happened? The keyboard player didn’t show up? Well..the ups and downs of a big festival! Meanwhile, Calloway and company had the crowd riled up though…dancing and cheering to those great tunes played by smiling students who were stars for an hour on a glorious sunny day!