An Asian American actor will lead San Francisco’s upcoming Chinese New Year parade ushering in the Year of the Rabbit.
A year after Daniel Wu served as the grand marshal, the title for 2023 goes to Rich Ting, who spent some of his youth in San Francisco and went on to become an Asian American Hollywood celebrity.
The 42-year-old has acted in a number of TV shows and movies, including NCIS: Los Angeles, Chicago P.D. and Salt. And come Feb. 4, he’ll appear in a new role as grand marshal of the city’s Chinese New Year Parade.
“It is an absolute honor,” Ting said in the announcement. “I am beyond words to express my gratitude for including me in such an iconic cultural celebration.”
A fourth-generation Asian American, Ting was born in Los Angeles and went to Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco. He graduated from Yale and later pursued a career in entertainment.
Ting lives in Los Angeles and is outspoken about his Asian American identity and the lack of diversity in his chosen field.
The Chinatown parade returned for the first time earlier this year since the pandemic lockdown, amid an Omicron surge, with another actor, Daniel Wu, as grand marshal. Previously, actor Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians director Jon Chu and Mayor London Breed held the title.
The Lunar New Year celebrations hosted by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce kick off on Jan. 14 at the Flower Market in Chinatown. Lunar New Year’s Day comes on Jan. 22, and the Miss Chinatown Pageant takes place on Feb. 3, a day before the parade.
Harlan Wong, who’s directing the parade, told The Standard that five rabbit sculptures will be displayed across the city as part of the festivities and then auctioned off to raise money for charity.