Drizzly weather couldn’t stop throngs of people from filling Chinatown’s streets and sidewalks Saturday night, celebrating the Year of the Rabbit at the annual Lunar New Year Parade.
From Downtown to Chinatown, thousands of attendees held umbrellas and gathered on both sides of the parade route to watch colorful floats pass by, as well as firecrackers, lion and dragon dancers and other performances.
Hollywood actor Rich Ting and celebrity chef Martin Yan served as the parade’s grand marshals. Other notable guests included state Attorney General Rob Bonta and Mayor London Breed, plus dozens of local elected officials.
“I want to thank all of you who came out here and braved the weather to celebrate with us,” said Breed. “I am looking forward to 2023 where there’s more kindness in the world.”
Following mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay that rocked the nation’s Asian American communities, San Francisco’s law enforcement doubled down on its promise to keep the city safe during the Lunar New Year time of celebration.
San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto, Police Chief Bill Scott and other top law enforcement leaders also walked in the parade.
Earlier in the day, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce also hosted a street fair throughout Chinatown with more than 100 vendor booths to attract locals and tourists.
The parade has a history of more than a century, dating back to when early Chinese immigrants landed in the Bay.
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce began hosting the event in 1958, and it has since grown to become Chinatown’s largest and the most iconic celebration.