Born during the California Gold Rush by Chinese immigrants who wanted to share their culture, the parade has since changed routes and grown to 650,000 people watching last year in addition to millions on television.
The procession kicks off at Market and Second streets at 5:15 p.m. and ends in Chinatown around 8:45 p.m. More than 100 groups will march, including lion dancers and floats themed to the Year of the Horse.
While bleacher seats are sold out, the public can observe anywhere along the route for free and on KTVU (Ch. 2) and KTSF (Ch. 26) from 6 to 8 p.m.
“A lot of people come to this parade from all over — not just the Bay Area, but all over the country and the world,” said Karen Eng, spokeswoman for the festival and parade. “It’s traditional. We’ve been here for so long it has become known as the place to come for the Chinese New Year parade.”
Various Muni lines will be rerouted. Street closures are planned eastbound on Market Street between First and Fourth streets and westbound on Market Street between Main and Third Streets from 4 to 5:15 p.m., as well as on Geary Street between Stockton and Powell streets from 3:30 to 11 p.m. Mission Street between First and Fourth streets will be designated for transit-only until Market Street re-opens.
Chinese New Year Parade
When: Saturday 5:15 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: From Market and Second streets to Kearny and Jackson streets
Bleachers: Located along Kearny Street, from Sacramento and California streets to Pine and Bush streets
Chinese New Year Community Street Fair
When: Saturday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Grant Avenue from California Street to Broadway
Pacific Avenue from Kearny to Stockton streets
Washington and Jackson Streets from Kearny to Stockton streets