Chinese New Year Parade returning to San Francisco

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Anna Latino/Special to the S.F. Examiner
About 100 floats will follow the Chinese New Year Parade route Saturday.

Evil spirits have until Saturday night to hang around Chinatown before they are banished for another year by a San Francisco tradition that dates to Gold Rush times.

The drums, fireworks, lion teams and 268-foot-long golden dragon are staples of the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade, along with being a celebrated cultural tradition.

Some 100 parade floats, drum teams, school groups and other units from across the Bay Area will take to the streets, rain or shine, to celebrate a hopefully prosperous and healthy year to come.

The parade’s emcee is Chinatown political heavyweight Rose Pak, who greets The City’s elected officials with praise, insults and jokes, as she sees fit, when their parade entourages enter Chinatown.

New Year events

Miss Chinatown USA Coronation Ball

  • 6 p.m.-midnight Friday
  • San Francisco Hilton, 333 O’Farrell St.
  • Tickets: $120
  • Info: (415) 982-3000

Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade

  • Where: Second and Market streets to Kearny and Jackson streets
  • When: Begins 5:15 p.m. Saturday
  • TV coverage: 6-8 p.m. on KTVU (Ch. 2) and KTSF (Ch. 26)
  • Info: tickets:

Chinatown street fair

  • Where: Grant Avenue from California Street to Broadway; Pacific Avenue from Kearny to Stockton streets; Washington and Jackson streets from Kearny to Stockton streets
  • When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

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