SF's Chinese New Year Parade to bring floats, fireworks, Awkwafina as Grand Marshal

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Wednesday, February 21, 2024
SF's Chinese New Year Parade to bring floats, fireworks, Awkwafina
San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade will bring floats, fireworks, firecrackers and actress Awkwafina as Grand Marshal this weekend.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's an exciting time for San Francisco's Chinatown with big preparations underway for Saturday's Chinese New Year Parade.

It's the lucky Year of the Dragon, and more than a million spectators are expected to attend.

With their power tools and their paint brushes, crews are hard at work inside San Francisco's Pier 54.

They are transforming these floats into majestic landscapes with mythical creatures for the Year of the Dragon.

MORE: What is Lunar New Year and how is it different from Chinese New Year?

"The 'disco dragon' -- I had a team of five people for three weeks hand-gluing every single one of these mirrors onto this hand-carved dragon," said Stephanie Mufson, owner of The Parade Guys.

Expect floats, elaborate costumes and festive firecrackers.

It starts at 2nd and Market Streets and ends at Kearny Street and Columbus Avenue.

Big names and familiar faces will be a part of the parade -- Awkwafina, the rapper and actress will be the Grand Marshal.

VIDEO: Golden Globe-winner Awkwafina named Grand Marshal of SF's 2024 Chinese New Year Parade

Organizers have announced actress and rapper Awkwafina as its Grand Marshal for the 2024 San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade.

"We are really excited about that. She really brings a lot of attention and new eyeballs to our parade," said Harlan Wong, director of the Chinese New Year Parade and Festival.

Former Mayor Willie Brown will be the Honorary Marshal to usher in the Year of the Dragon.

"The dragon is most powerful sign in Chinese 12-year zodiac. It's strength, its successful, it's powerful and its very wise," said Wong.

For Chinatown, this is a moment to shine.

"We're hoping that the dragon brings in the power, wealth and prosperity that this city needs. We're hoping the parade can be another catalyst for getting the city back to where the city needs to be," said Malcolm Yeung, executive director of Chinese Community Development Center.

Local law enforcement says as always, there will be a lot of security during the event.

VIDEO: Lunar New Year: Year of the Dragon celebrations kick off across the Bay Area

Lunar New Year celebrations are well underway across the Bay Area, kicking off The Year of the Dragon.

"We will be out with you, among you, our officers are always out and present in Chinatown," said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott.

More than a million people turned out for last year's Chinese New Year Parade. This year, expect bigger crowds. And even an even more spectacular parade.

"Look for grand finale fireworks show at Union Square," said Wong.

Also, look for a new and improved attraction. A new dragon will be unveiled for the Chinese New Year Parade. It's 288 feet long and features all kinds of detail and color.

"We added the color green to our dragon to symbolize new growth, new beginning," said Wong.

Many hope the new lunar year will breathe new life into Chinatown and bring good luck for businesses and visitors alike.

"We want everyone to come out and enjoy themselves but obviously open up their wallets and support our merchants," said Yeung.

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