The Chinese New Year in San Francisco is celebrated to great extent. After all, this beautiful California city is home to the largest Chinatown found anywhere outside of Asia. The highlight of the celebration is the world-renowned Chinese New Year Parade, which is also among the largest of its kind outside of Asia. The Chinese New Year in San Francisco Parade has actually been named among the best parades in the world, and it certainly attracts plenty of onlookers, not to mention scores of dynamic performers. Lion dancers, acrobats, and martial arts experts figure among the parade participants, and you can also expect to see marching bands passing by, as well as the recently crowned Miss Chinatown USA.
The San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade isn't held on Chinese New Year Day. It comes about two weeks later and helps to cap everything off. The procession gets started at around 5:15 p.m. on Market Street. It then follows along Geary Street before making a right on Powell Street and then doubling back on Post Street. At Kearny Street, the procession makes a left and continues onward towards the intersection of Columbus Avenue. The ending point is the Community Street Fair in Chinatown. This fair offers festivities of its own from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the following day, which is usually a Sunday. Bleacher seats for the parade are available for a fee. Many people opt instead to hang out at Portsmouth Square. You can get some food at one of the restaurants there and enjoy prime views of the parade passing by.
The dates for the Chinese New Year vary from year to year, so you can expect the 2016 Chinese New Year in San Francisco to follow along accordingly. Late January through mid-February is the general time period according to the Gregorian calendar. The San Francisco hotels fill up fast during the celebration, especially those hotels that are found in and around Chinatown. As such, securing your accommodations well in advance is the ideal way to go. If you can't make it to San Francisco for the Chinese New Year, worry not. The city and its Chinatown district are a joy to explore at any time of year. Plus, the following year will give you one more opportunity to drop into town for the Chinese New Year festivities.