SF prepares for 2010 Chinese New Year parade

February 24, 2010 3:50:25 PM PST
More than 100 units will participate in Saturday's Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco.

24 of the floats that will be in the parade are being constructed right now at a San Francisco warehouse. Master designer Dave Thomas used to appear in the parade, then he started building floats. First one, then three, then five, and now he is up to two dozen.

Local artists help in the creation, working from Thomas' design. The figures on all of the floats are made from Styrofoam, shaped and then painted. It takes about 200 man hours to assemble each float and they only last the one day.

After the parade is over, the floats are disassembled and the Styrofoam is crushed.

The parade was started in the 1860s by Chinese immigrants who went to San Francisco during the gold rush and wanted to share their culture. It has become the largest celebration of Asian culture outside Asia.

More than 1 million people are expected to watch it Saturday night and perhaps 30 million more will see it as it is streamed to China.

Watch ABC7 News for more on this year's celebration from Don Sanchez.