You wont be able to take the Central Subway to Chinatown until 2019, but don't let that stop you from heading to the iconic neighborhood. The Chinese New Year Parade has been named one of the top 10 parades in the world by the International Festivals and Events Association. Started in the 1860s in San Francisco as a way to educate and celebrate Chinese culture, the parade and festival have grown to be the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia. To help kick off the new year's celebrations, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce has put together a Mini-Parade Preview and Ribbon Cutting Celebration to give a taste of what the larger Lunar New Year parade will bring. The mini-parade begins at historic St. Mary's Square, and follows the original parade route down Grant, ending at the Flower Fair. The procession includes lion dancers, giant walking puppets, costumed stilt walkers and deities, drummers, and dancers (much like the main parade on Feb. 23). The Flower Fair features over 80 booths of fruits, candies, flowers, and plants symbolizing happiness, rebirth, and new growth for the year of the snake.
Sat., Feb. 2, 10:30 a.m., 2013