Chinese New Year's Parade

March 13, 2008 4:18:45 PM PDT
The Chinese New Year's parade started at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and the rain and wind picked up, making it a soggy night.

Organizers of the parade have been trying to protect their floats from the weather.

Those involved in trying to get the parade underway have been outside all day, scrambling to try and secure and protect their floats from the weather.

Hours before the parade starts, high wind and move in. One gust is so powerful it rips the back section of a parade float right off.

"I don't mind the ran so much, but these things aren't designed for 60 mph winds," said Vince Foecke from the International School of the Peninsula.

With 28 floats set to roll through San Francisco, organizers are bracing for the worst from mother nature.

"As soon as they start talking about wind and they start talking about water, we spend a whole extra eight hours on visqueen, and stapling, and protecting, and electrical tape on connections," said Kendra Comeford from Studio Concepts Inc.

Float designers say the rain is manageable, but with winds at 40 mph, people standing on the floats for several hours will be hit hard.

"We have done our best to secure all the connections so that water isn't going to get into them, but just keeping the kids who are going to be on the floats safe, is the main idea," said Bill Bogdan from the Chinese American International School.

600 ponchos will be handed out to everyone on a float and weather may also make the grand finally of the parade, a 200 foot golden dragon, tough to handle. It is made of cloth. Rain makes it heavier and wind makes it difficult to hold onto. But still, parade goers say they're not going to let the forecast keep them away.

"It's not the most exciting thing, but you know it should be a lot of fun. We, like she said, got our umbrella. I think we actually have a few ponchos, so you know if we get wet, we get wet," said Mike Carr, from Los Angeles.

And those that are out watching the parade will definitely get wet. This parade is expected to last about two and a half hours. The director of the parade said she had no thoughts of canceling this. They have had rain storms on parade days in the past and so this is nothing new.

Report by Sue Thompson.