SF Chinese New Year Parade to see more spectators, floats, security for year of the Rabbit

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Friday, February 3, 2023
SF Chinese New Year Parade to see more spectators, floats, security
San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade to see more spectators, floats and security for the year of the Rabbit.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- This weekend San Francisco is kicking off its much-celebrated Chinese New Year Parade. It's the largest celebration of its kind outside of Asia. The parade starts at 2nd and Market Streets and ends at Kearny and Columbus.

Natalia Martin can't wait for the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade.

"I'm very excited to see it on Saturday," Martin said. "I love how this city brings different cultures alive."

Volunteers are working hard to put the finishing touches on their floats.

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Nearly two dozen of them and nearly 100 groups will join the parade Saturday to welcome the Year of the Rabbit.

"It's going to be crowded for sure. It might be raining a little bit. But, it's OK," said Tony Lau with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

Rain or shine, the parade kicks off around 5:15 p.m. Saturday.

The parade lasts about two-and-half-hours.

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There will be plenty of security -- more officers than last year.

"We work with DFW, SFPD, we work with sheriff department, we work with the DEM. Every year we work with the different departments to make sure this is a safe secure place for people to enjoy the New Year," said Lau.

There are the floats, the costumes, the firecrackers and the beloved 288-foot golden dragon, which symbolizes power, luck and strength.

"This is our dragon. We built it four-to-five years ago," said Lau. "It's tall definitely. It's about eight-to-nine feet tall, 288 feet long."

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It takes as many as 125 people to carry the dragon throughout the streets of San Francisco.

"During Chinese New Year culture besides seeing lion dance, we see dragons," Lau said.

The dragon is the finale for the parade. Supporters come out and help welcome the Year of the Rabbit.

It's fun for the entire family.

"Come join us. It's going to be a fun night to celebrate Chinese New Year," Lau said.

For more information and a map of the parade route, head to the parade's website.

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