Named one of the world’s top ten parades, the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco is the largest celebration of its kind outside of Asia. If you’re celebrating the Year of the Rabbit in San Francisco over the next two weeks, here’s what you need to know about the parade, community street fair and run/walk:
Chinese New Year Parade
The Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco celebrates the Lunar New Year, and is widely regarded as one of the most spectacular night-illuminated parades in the country. This year’s parade will be held on Saturday, February 4th, rain or shine.
Started in the 1860s by the Chinese as a way to educate the community about their culture, this year’s parade includes elaborate floats, lion dancers, folk dancers, costumed elementary school groups, marching bands, stilt walkers, Chinese acrobats, and a 268 foot long Golden Dragon. The newly crowned Miss Chinatown U.S.A. will also make an appearance!
General viewing of the parade is free, and bleacher tickets are available starting at $41. You can purchase bleacher tickets here. Event organizers recommend you get there before 4:00 p.m. If you can’t attend the parade in person, you can catch the live broadcast on KTVU Fox 2 or KTSF 26 (Chinese broadcast) on Saturday, February 20th at beginning at 6pm.
Date & time: Saturday 2/4, 5:15 p.m.-9 p.m.
Parade Route: Market and Second Street to Kearny and Jackson (see map below for the parade route and bleacher locations)
You can find more information on the official parade event page here.
Chinese New Year Community Street Fair
With over 120 booths and concessions, the Community Street fair is a must-see part of this year’s celebration. The street fair is free and takes place Saturday, February 4th and Sunday, February 5th, the same weekend as the Chinese New Year Parade.
Be sure to stop by the entertainment stage on Washington St. below Grant for Chinese folk dancing, opera, drumming and much more. Then get a family photo with the giant puppets and other artifacts from the Parade.
Date & time: Saturday 2/4 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sunday 2/5 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Grant Avenue from California to Broadway St.; Sacramento, Washington, Jackson & Pacific between Stockton & Kearny
For more information, check out the official event page here.
Chinese New Year Run
The Chinatown YMCA holds their 45th annual Chinese New Year Run on Sunday, March 5th. The race route starts at Sacramento & Grant and winds its way through Chinatown, North Beach, the Embarcadero, and Downtown before finishing on Kearny between California and Sacramento.
Registration for the race starts at $48 and includes a t-shirt and finish line goodies, as well as prizes for top winners by age group. Proceeds benefit the Chinatown YMCA Community Center.
Date & time: March 6 at 8 a.m.
Race route: Starts at Sacramento & Grant before moving through Chinatown, North Beach, the Embarcadero, and Downtown; finishes on Kearny between California & Sacramento.For more information and to register for the race, head over to the race event page here.