The festivities for the 46th Annual San Francisco Carnaval kicked off with a bang, featuring the highly anticipated King and Queen Competition on March 30 at KQED.

Seventeen contestants performed vibrant dances representing Latin America, the Caribbean, and African diasporas. In the end, Monica Mendoza from Peru and Yeison Jimenez from Colombia were crowned Queen and King.

Mendoza, the ambassador for the Tradition Peruana Cultural Center, mastered her performance of “Marinera Norteña.” Meanwhile, Jimenez, who was born and raised in Colombia, told an inspiring tale of love, passion, and hard work through dance.

Themed “Honor Indigenous Roots,” this year’s festival and grand parade will take place May 25th and 26th in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Seventeen contestants performed vibrant dances during the King and Queen competition for the 46th Annual Carnaval in San Francisco, Calif. Credit: Jayasimha Nuggehalli