Skip to main content
Arts & Culture

Oakland Chinatown To Host Its First Lunar New Year Parade in Decades

Written by Han LiPublished Jan. 13, 2023 • 4:15pm
Lion dancers lead off the entertainment at the Pacific Renaissance Plaza for the Oakland Chinatown StreetFest on Aug. 24, 2019. | Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

English

After waves of high-profile crimes against Asians in recent years, Oakland’s Chinatown hopes to bring back some positivity in the Year of the Rabbit with a Lunar New Year parade.

The Jan. 29 procession will be the city’s first in decades. The parade will start at 11 a.m. with floats and a procession circling around Chinatown. 

Way back when, Oakland’s Chinatown used to host a parade a week before San Francisco’s. But as those festivities grew to become an iconic event, Oakland’s went dormant.

It’s about time to refresh Oakland’s image and celebrate its Asian community, said Elaine Peng, who’s organizing the parade as vice president of the newly formed Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council.

“We want more people to know the history and culture of Oakland Chinatown, not just from negative news stories,” Peng said.

The poster for the revived Oakland Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade | Courtesy Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council

Since California passed a law in 2022 to formally recognize Lunar New Year, Peng said Oakland’s historic Chinatown should follow suit by reviving its traditional celebrations.

The Toishan Benevolent Association, a community group that leads public safety patrols in the neighborhood, is another organizer of the parade.

Organizers say the theme, “Oakland Is Changing,” reflects the city’s new direction and change of leadership. Mayor Sheng Thao, elected in a tight race last year and the second Asian American mayor in Oakland’s history, is expected to attend.

Peng said the event would also honor the late Alameda County supervisor Wilma Chan by starting and ending the route in the newly renamed Wilma Chan Park near the Lake Merritt BART Station. Chan was a trailblazing Chinese American woman in California politics who died unexpectedly in a traffic accident in 2021.

Oakland Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade

🗓️ Sunday, Jan. 29
🕔 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
📍810 Jackson St., Oakland, CA 94607
🔗 ocic-ca.org

English

Han Li can be reached at [email protected]


San Francisco’s Beloved Pi Bar and Pizzeria To Shutter

San Francisco’s Beloved Pi Bar and Pizzeria To Shutter


Move Over Arsicault, I Have a New Favorite San Francisco Croissant 

Move Over Arsicault, I Have a New Favorite San Francisco Croissant 


After SF Pizza Shop Employee Tells Cops They Are ‘Not Welcome,’ the Internet Piles On

After SF Pizza Shop Employee Tells Cops They Are ‘Not Welcome,’ the Internet Piles On


Oakland’s Lunar New Year Parade Finally Returns, Brings Joy to Grieving Community

Oakland’s Lunar New Year Parade Finally Returns, Brings Joy to Grieving Community


This Former Tech Exec, the Self-Proclaimed ‘Father of Biohacking,’ Has Some Advice for You

This Former Tech Exec, the Self-Proclaimed ‘Father of Biohacking,’ Has Some Advice for You



Stay on top of what’s happening in your city

SF’s most important stories, delivered straight to your inbox



By clicking Subscribe you confirm you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy