The Chinese New Year Parade in 2009, the Year of the Ox
The San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival and Parade is an annual event held in San Francisco. Held approximately two weeks following the first day of the Chinese New Year, it combines elements of the Chinese Lantern Festival with a typical American parade. First held in 1858 along what are today Grant Avenue and Kearny Street, it is the oldest and largest event of its kind outside of Asia, and the largest Asian cultural event in North America. The parade route begins on Market Street and terminates in Chinatown.
The festival incorporates two fairs, the Chinese New Year Flower Fair and Chinatown Community Street Fair. Miss Chinatown USA is traditionally present at the parade, as is a 200 foot long Golden Dragon manned inside by upwards of 100 puppeteers. 600,000 firecrackers ended the 2012 parade. In 2012, over 100 groups participated in the parade.