New Year parade will roar in Year of Dragon 

A group of 28 line and folk dancers from the Hebei province in China will kick off this year’s Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco in a unique way to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

The group — known as Folk Art Troupe of Hebei Provincial Mass Art Center — will perform intricate aerobatics and complex wrist and arm movements, parade spokeswoman Karen Eng said.

“It’s going to be spectacular,” Eng said. “It will be noisy, but also a lot of fun.”

Following in their footsteps will be nearly 100 floats and 5,000 participants who will march the 1½-mile parade route.

The parade kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday and will wind through the streets of San Francisco, starting at Market and Second streets, then heading west on Geary Street before returning east on Post Street and finally going north on Kearny Street. The route ends in Chinatown.

Eng said the late start is meant to enhance the intricate light displays that will accompany each float.

“When [the lights] are illuminated, it’s beautiful and colorful,” Eng said. “It looks better at night.”

Organizers expect as many as1 million people to attend the parade, Eng said.

To end the parade, 100 men and women from the White Crane martial arts group will carry a 250-foot golden dragon through the streets.

The parade caps weeks of celebrations marking the start of the Year of the Dragon.

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