I often hear newcomers express their surprise that the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco should be so popular. I almost want to shake them, screaming, “Well, it’s the largest Asian heritage celebration in North America and one of the largest outside of Asia!”
Legal reasons prohibit me from doing thusly.
When I lived here as a kid, I had the opportunity to be in the CNY Parade. I wasn’t able to capture that opportunity, and since then I’ve only seen the parade once. Thanks to AT&T and their promotion for the HTC One X+ smartphone, and bloggers Suki and Donna, I was able to fulfill my childhood dream.
Throughout the parade, the AT&T team used the HTC One X+ to livestream video of the crowd directly onto an LED screen along their float, creating much commotion. It was a clever idea, as was the inclusion of cute little kids on the float itself.
If you’re planning on attending the annual Chinese New Year Parade in downtown San Francisco, dress warm and prepare for crowds. Walking may be a better plan than taking Muni, which faces redirection and delays for many of the lines. Watching from hilly streets like California Street is a good option because they’re at the center of the parade, offer ample lights and provide a slope so you can see even from the back.
The current route takes the parade down Market Street, turning down Post to pass Union Square, turning then on Powell and onto Sutter, and finally finishing down Kearny after it turns the corner on Columbus, ending near the Transamerica Pyramid.
Photos and video taken from the 2013 Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco (with a regular camera since I couldn’t score an HTC One X+; boo-hoo, and hence no disclaimer needed for this post).