With the New Lunar Year dawning upon us on Feb. 16th, San Francisco’s beloved Chinatown has been busy hosting and preparing various events to welcome the Year of the Dog. This past weekend, Chinatown hosted their annual Chinese New Year Flower Market Fair, where visitors were able to get fresh flowers, candies, and fruits to prepare for the new year. Are you ready for what comes next? This might just be the largest celebration of the Year of the Dog outside of Asia — don’t miss out!
Feb. 22 – 23: Miss Chinatown U.S.A Pageant and Coronation Ball
So apparently Miss Chinatown U.S.A has been around for nearly 60 years, and young women from throughout the United States have come to San Francisco solely to compete in this annual pageant. The purpose? The newly-crowned Queen becomes the ambassador for the Chinese community for the rest of year. It’s a big deal — the coronation ball is a black-tie event, and is always attended by many community leaders. A true highlight of the New Year festivities, if you ask me.
More info here!
Feb. 24: The Spring Festival & New Year Parade
The 2018 Chinese Spring Festival — SF’s largest indoor Lunar New Year Celebration — starts at 11 a.m. at the Chinese Cultural Center. Since 2018 is the Year of the Dog, visitors will be able to enjoy dog-themed artwork at the exhibition. Rumor also has it that there will be performances put on by the Vietnamese Student Association Lion Dance, Chen Tai Chi, Tamiko Wong and Charlie Chin, singer Katherine Park, Hai Yan Dance Group, China’s Spirit, and the Chinese Folk Dance Association.
The celebration doesn’t stop there though — after spending the day taking in the marvelous art exhibition and the various dance performances, visitors will be able to enjoy the annual and traditional Chinese New Year Parade. The parade will start on Market Street, and will snake around through downtown all the way into the heart of Chinatown. Make sure to watch out for the crowd favorite: the 268-foot Golden Dragon (“Gum Lung”).
Feb. 24 – 25: Chinese New Year Street Fair
Last but definitely not the least, there will also be a Chinese Community Street Fair located in the heart of Chinatown. There’s going to be over 120 booths and concessions at this family event, which not only makes this a shopper’s paradise, but also a kid’s dream-come-true. Activities and entertainment for all ages have been planned throughout the day by the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Make sure to stay long enough to enjoy the Chinese folk dancing, opera, magicians and acrobats as you wallow in the marvelous beginnings of spring.
Don’t forget to enjoy some dim sum while you’re out and about in Chinatown. Happy Year of the Dog from all of us to you!