The Evolution of a Festival

1989 SL 060 St Marys Drum Corps 1

Over the course of our 160-year history, our celebration has evolved to reflect the people of the times. We first focused on the Parade, showcasing our traditions and customs with the Lion and Dragon performers and the ribbon and fan dancers. As we grew, we started to include school marching bands, multicultural performance groups, and illuminated floats. With those changes came the bright lights and TV cameras, bleacher seats along the parade route, and more firecrackers than you could ever imagine.

What was once just a community parade making its way down Chinatown’s Grant Avenue, has now evolved to become one of the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations in the world.

But we’re not just a parade.

This celebration is more than just one night under the stars but a month-long festival full of events that bring together all facets of our community. Whether you’re a newly arrived immigrant buying flowers and decorations for the new year at the Flower Market Fair or your family has been here for generations and you’re looking to reconnect to your roots in Chinatown at the Miss Chinatown USA Pageant or Basketball Jamboree, our celebration reflects the diversity of this community and there’s something for everyone.

As we progress, grow, and evolve so will our celebration. As we honor this longtime tradition, we continue to work to make it relevant and meaningful for the community we serve. Thank you for helping us uphold this legacy. Thank you to Southwest Airlines for helping us make this video possible.

Directed by: Anson Ho
Produced by: Christina Hoang & the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco

Interviewee:
Rev. Norman Fong

Additional Photos & Videos by:
Bordon Chin
Sandra Marie Yee
Chinese Historical Society of America
David Lei
Larry Young
Knight Lights Photography
Leland Wong
Lacey Bryant
The Parade Guys

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