San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade lights up downtown with thousands in attendance

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — In Chinese folklore, firecrackers ward off evil spirits. And after lighting hundreds of firecrackers, San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade has begun this year.

Welcome to the Year of the Rabbit.

“We got to see the lion dance and all the little kids who are in costume. I love all the bunny floats. So that’s awesome,” said Cyrea Gomez, who lives in San Jose. She went out with her daughter.

The organizers want this event to entertain, but also to educate. From rabbit floats to lion dances to hundreds of children representing various cultural clubs, the whole pageantry of Chinese culture and tradition was on display.

RELATED: Chinese SF Community Prepares for Last Weekend of Lunar New Year Festivities

“Especially the dragons and the fireworks. That’s what I like ! said Kainoa Kalama, 11, who was present with her mother.

“I love all the school-coordinated dances,” said Alana Tillery, a Baltimore resident who was in San Francisco on a business trip.

Even the rain, sometimes moderate, was not enough to dampen the mood. Thousands of people lined the streets of downtown San Francisco along the 1.3-mile parade route, which began at Second Street and Market Street, bypassed Union Square and ended in Chinatown.

“We didn’t let the rain stop us from having a great time and stopping us from celebrating Lunar New Year in San Francisco. It’s amazing and it’s one of the best parades here,” said said San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who was at the parade.

RELATED: SF’s Chinese New Year Parade to See More Spectators, Floats, Safety for Year of the Rabbit

In fact, this parade dates back to the 1860s and has become the largest Lunar New Year parade outside of Asia.

California State Senator Scott Wiener, who represents San Francisco, was also in the parade. He says the parade is especially important this year.

“This parade is incredibly important to San Francisco and the Bay Area, especially with all the attacks and violence directed at our Asian American communities. We all need to stick together, come together and show solidarity. . And have fun as a community,” Weiner said.

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