San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade comes roaring back with hope for community

ByRyan Curry, Tim Johns KGO logo
Sunday, February 20, 2022
Chinese New Year Parade returns to SF with hope, relief
San Francisco's Chinese New Year Parade is back after two years amid the pandemic and many are hoping it sheds a positive light on the community.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- After being canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese New Year parade is back in San Francisco.

The parade is the largest of its kind outside of Asia.

And thousands came out to celebrate the year of the tiger.

WATCH: Behind the Scenes of San Francisco's Chinese New Year Parade 2022

San Francisco's Chinese New Year Parade is back after two years amid the pandemic and many are hoping it sheds a positive light on the community.

"I'm so glad that it's back. It's like, I don't know, it's just like everything's back on track," said parade watcher, Patricia Heaton.

But this year's parade is about a lot more than just celebrating the new year.

For many in attendance, it was also a chance to promote a message of unity after a series of attacks against Asian Americans.

Those attacks against members of the AAPI community have grown over the course of the pandemic.

"It has been a rough couple of years, and the last month has been pretty horrible for our community," said Hudson Liao, founder of nonprofit group Asians Are Strong. "Coming out showing people we don't have to be afraid we don't have to stay home is great."

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Liao founded his group to help empower the Asian community. He had a stand at the Chinatown fair Saturday where hundreds attended.

"We are here because we want to show the community that there is support," he said. "The pandemic and then the crimes happening, you feel lonely. Today its great to come out and remind us that we are a community. There is a lot of us here."

WATCH: Savoring the symbolism of Lunar New Year's delicious dishes

We visit Dim Sum Palace in New York's Chinatown to learn about the symbolism behind some of the more famous dishes that mark Lunar New Year.

And Saturday's celebration was a way to push back against the hatred.

"When you have events like this, where people can see who you are, where people can see the different cultures represented in the AAPI community, it really leads to a better understanding of who people are," said San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto.

While also celebrating rich cultural traditions.

"I've never seen anything like this before, so it's really eye-opening to see so much culture in such a small place," said spectator Amalia Corona.

Because after two difficult years, many here say they're excited for what the future may hold.

"It's a sign of the resilience of this city for all of us to be able to come together in this type of setting and not have to worry as much about the health concerns that we've experienced over the last two years with COVID," said Miyamoto.