Contra Carnivale is a contra dance event in beautiful San Luis Obispo over Martin Luther King weekend. Since it coincides with the beginning of the season, we'll decorate in a Mardi Gras theme and encourage "Mardi Gras festive" attire - especially for the Saturday evening dance! Bring your sequins and feathers, and we'll supply beads for everybody!

Centrally located near the coast, mid-way between the San Francisco Bay area and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo is a great place to visit. We'll fill your weekend with high-energy contra dancing and recommend that you plan to spend Friday and/or Monday exploring & adventuring in the SLO area on your own.

Location & Directions

Contra Carnivale will be held at the San Luis Obispo Veterans' Memorial Building at 801 Grand Avenue. You'll recognize it by the tank sitting out front.

From the South: Take the Grand Avenue (Cal Poly) exit from Highway 101. Turn right onto Grand Avenue and look for the Vets' Hall on the right between Mill & Palm Streets.

From the North: Take the Monterey Street (Cal Poly) exit from Highway 101. Turn left across the freeway, then turn right onto Monterey Street. Turn right on Grand Avenue at the first light, then almost immediately left into the Vets' Hall parking lot.

There is no overnight parking in the Vets' Hall lot; this will be strictly enforced by the city!

San Luis Obispo is served by a small regional airport (SBP) that links to major hubs. You can also explore taking the train (Amtrak).

COVID & Health Policy (as of 12/20/2023)

We are asking all attendees to:


There are lots of 2 & 3 star motels within walking distance of the Veterans Memorial Building; Google Maps is a good way to find them (search for 2 people for that weekend). For best prices we suggest contacting the motels directly rather going through intermediary sites like or

A somewhat less expensive alternative is Hostel Obispo, which is about a mile from the hall.

Camping is available at several County parks and State parks in the area. Reservations are required.

There is no overnight parking in the Vets' Hall lot; this will be strictly enforced by the city!


Abundant beverages and snacks are provided throughout the weekend. Continental breakfast and a light lunch buffet will be offered on Saturday and Sunday. There are a great many good restaurants in the area, many within walking distance of the hall.

Children & Pets

All children must be registered to attend the weekend.

For the comfort and safety of all, we must ask that you refrain from bringing any non-service animals into the building.

Please get in touch with us at if you have questions.