San Francisco's 411 Chinese New Year Parade will draw several hundred thousand spectators to town this Saturday. The 2013 Chinese New Year festival in San Francisco ends this weekend, with a dramatic twilight parade in Chinatown on Saturday, February 23rd. Named one of the world's top ten Chinese New Year parades, this Year of the Snake honors the most auspicious sign in the Chinese Zodiac.
A special dragon is the highlight of each year's parade. Last year's 201 foot long parade dragon was from the village of Foshan, China. The Foshan dragonmasters are renowned as costume makers for the Cantonese opera, and for their supreme artistry. This year's dragon promises to be equally exciting.
This weekend marks the grand finale, with nearly one million people watching televised and live coverage. Several hundred thousand people will be converging to see the parade as it snakes around Union Square and up Kearney Street to Chinatown's Portsmouth Square. The unique musical and acrobatic groups, lion dancers, traditional costumes, local dignitaries, and beautiful pageantry of this parade make it a must see event. Firecrackers, Miss Chinatown and her court, costumed dance troupes from the local Chinese community and more will fill the streets. This week's festivity coincides with the launch of San Francisco's 31st Asian American film festival.
San Francisco's Asian culture is woven throughout the city. See Chinese pagodas in Golden Gate Park at Stow Lake. Take a drive past the park to Lake Merced and you'll see dragon race practices with teams of teens and young adults getting ready for the summer dragon races held at Treasure Island in SF Bay (see article link below).
Here's the schedule of events this weekend. The parade will be broadcast live on local TV stations as well.
Chinese New Year Parade:
Saturday, February 23, 2013 5:15 p.m.
Chinatown Community Street Fair:
Saturday, prior to the parade, and Sunday, February 23, 2013.
Watch the live broadcast of the parade starting at 6 p.m. on KTVU Channel 2 or via livestream at KTVU.com.
© Copyright 2013 Mary Holman. All rights reserved. This article and content may not be republished, rewritten or excerpted.