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Crazy Rich Asians’ actress Awkwafina to lead San Francisco’s 2024 Chinese New Year parade

Woman waving hand on red carpet event
Awkwafina, a New York-born actress and singer, will serve as the grand marshal for San Francisco's Lunar New Year parade. | Source: Kevin Winter/WireImage

San Francisco’s iconic Chinese New Year Parade just added a Hollywood star to its RSVP list.

Awkwafina, an Asian American actress and rapper who is also known as Nora Lum, has been named the grand marshal for the Year of the Dragon parade taking place in Downtown San Francisco on Feb. 24.

“It's such an honor to serve as Grand Marshal of the San Francisco Lunar New Year Parade! I’m so excited to celebrate with our community,” Awkwafina said in a statement. “Having been born in the year of the dragon, I look forward to fostering growth and progress that the upcoming year will bring for us.”

The New York-born artist, 35, has starred in multiple major Asian American Hollywood movies in recent years, including Crazy Rich Asians and Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. She’s also the first Asian to win a Golden Globe for best actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy, for her role in The Farewell.

Harlan Wong, the parade's director and a board member of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, which is organizing the city's Chinese New Year events, said it took “a lot of hard work” to get Awkwafina to San Francisco’s Chinatown.

“She’s busy,” Wong said. “We keep asking, keep pushing and reaching out.”

The honorary grand marshal this year is former Mayor Willie Brown, a close friend of the legendary but controversial Rose Pak, a longtime consultant for the chamber.

Many Hollywood stars have served as grand marshals for the city’s Chinese New Year parade. Last year, Warrior star Rich Ting was the grand marshal and Oscar-winning Michelle Yeoh was the parade lead in 2018.

Wong also said this year's parade finale will have a brand new dragon, which the organizers just bought from a manufacturer in China.

Han Li can be reached at han@sfstandard.com