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 Rooster 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 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 11th, 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 for $30. You can purchase bleacher tickets here or by calling 415-889-8823 or 415-982-3071. Event organizers recommend you get there before 4:30pm. 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 11th, 6-8pm.
Date & time: Saturday 2/11, 5:15pm-8pm
Parade Route: Market and Second Street to Kearny and Jackson (see below)
Parking: Reserve parking for the Chinese New Year Parade here
You can find more information on the official parade event page here.
Chinese New Year Community Street Fair
This year’s Chinese Community Street Fair marks 28 years of the tradition. The street fair is free and takes place Saturday, February 11th and Sunday, February 12th, the same weekend as the Chinese New Year Parade.
With over 120 booths and concessions, it’s a must-see part of this year’s celebration. 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 2/11 10am-4:30pm, Sunday 2/12 9am-5pm
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 39th annual Chinese New Year Run on Sunday, February 19th. 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.
The race is $43 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: Sunday 2/19 at 8am
Race route: Starts at Sacramento & Grant before moving through Chinatown, North Beach, the Embarcadero, and Downtown; finishes on Kearny between California & Sacramento
Parking: Find parking near the start/finish line here
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