Carnaval was always my favorite holiday when I lived in San Francisco. In my apartment in the Mission District, I'd be woken up early by the sounds of drums, singing, and excited hubbub as parade participants put the final touches on their floats and routines outside my window.
Grabbing some huevos rancheros or chilaquiles on the way, I'd stake out a prime spot on the parade route and then revel in the colorful, creative chaos as representatives of dozens of Spanish-speaking groups -- and plenty of only-in-San-Francisco ones -- strutted their stuff in front of a packed and cheering crowd.
This year, the stilt-walkers, low-riders, samba and folkloric dancers, synchronized garbage men, burlesque troupes, and funk bands will be joined for the third time by marchers in "trash-bag boas and bottle-cap chain mail" -- recycled costumes crafted by members of Trash Mash-Up:
Trash Mash-Up is a collaborative community art project. TMU enriches our community by developing creative connections through workshops and performances. Using disposable materials, participants construct original pageant costumes inspired by mask traditions from around the world. This project reduces waste and inspires people to see each other and our environment in a new way.
The group's participation in the Carnaval parade allows spectators to "enjoy works of art created from things disregarded by one person and then given new life through another's imagination," according to the The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, which tipped us off to Trash Mash-Up. Check out some of TMU's creative costumes on their Flickr page.
The San Francisco Carnaval parade starts at 9:30 a.m. today, Sunday, May 29, at the corner of 24th and Bryant streets in the Mission District.
More On Recycling In San Francisco
SF Green Festival 09 - Reclaimed and Eco-Art Speaks to Minimizing Waste
Newsom Wants Your Leftover Burrito (and Your Recycling)
ScrapEden: Recycled Public Art
SF Recycling & Disposal Artist in Residence Program
Salvaged: Recycled Art, at San Fran's Studio Gallery