Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Breaking News: Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco

We head into San Francisco for dinner at Kokkari  Estiatorio and realize that the Chinese New Year Parade is today.  This is the largest Chinese New Year parade outside Asia and is held a few weeks after the actual new year day.  We hear that there may be a million people watching the parade and prepare for the crowds.

We experience the Chinese New Year good luck. We get parking at BART!  It is a busy day in San Francisco with SF Giants Appreciation Day event at AT&T Park and the parade.

Our destination is the first BART stop in San Francisco, Embarcadero Station, which gives us easy access to a great night.  We first walk over to the Ferry Building Marketplace to get duck breasts and mushrooms (oyster, shitake, and chantarelle) for our upcoming Valentine's Day dinner.  Shopping accomplished, we head back to Market Street to watch the parade.  As we wander through groups of people and floats preparing to start, we get a fabulous, different perspective than we would just watching the parade further down the route.  The energy is strong, the crowds are celebratory, and the floats are sitting, waiting their turn to go.  With over a hundred floats, some do have to wait quite a while.

Floats waiting their turn

On one corner, the stilt people are also waiting for their chance to go.  I'm not sure I would be up to the long walk on stilts!

 Stilt people

 And, of course, the dragons, some waiting, some getting started down the parade route.

 Dragons waiting

 Dragons in motion

 Complete with the bands.

 Bands getting started

 And, lots and lots of people of all ages walking with the floats.

Walking the route

And, a few riding.

 Riding the route

And, as we walk away from Market Street toward Jackson, where Kokkari is located, we reach the other end of the parade and see the people and floats who have finished the parade heading out for their evening.  We also get to enjoy the firecrackers! One after another, filling the air with percussion.

Packing up at the end

What a great treat, followed by a fabulous dinner at Kokkari, where we are never disappointed.

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