On Saturday, the nation's largest annual Chinese Lunar New Year celebration, with one of the only nighttime illuminated parades in the country as well, came down Market Street and circled Union Square, drawing locals and tourists for a Year of the Rooster spectacle celebrating the lunar year 4715. The parade traces its SF roots back to Gold Rush times, and is a huge point of pride for the city's large Chinese American community.
More than 100 groups participated in the parade, as ABC 7 reported, and it was sponsored again by Southwest Airlines and put on by the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce an organization that was long led by local powerhouse Rose Pak, who sadly died last year, meaning this was the first parade in decades without her.
As the Chronicle amusingly noted over the weekend, "People would be forgiven if they believed Pak, the Chinatown power broker who died in September at age 68, had been the parade’s master of ceremonies. That honor has belonged to the Rev. Norman Fong for 25 years. Pak just grabbed the microphone from him and yelled out what she pleased, when she pleased just as she did in city politics." They added, "Her quips, bellowed from the grandstand at Jackson and Kearny streets, ranged from humorous to mean, but they were almost always pointed and pertinent to Chinatown’s interests."
Check out some photos of this year's parade.