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Butt into the fun with the Year of the Ram

Butt into the fun with the Year of the Ram

Where else but in this magical city of ours might you come casually nose-to-nose with a 268-foot-long Golden Dragon called Gum Lung? This enchanting encounter could take place soon, at the world-renowned San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade (details below).

Here are some fun events planned in honor of the Year of the Ram, lunar year 4713:

Saturday, Feb. 14: Southwest Airlines Mini-Parade and Ribbon Cutting, Ceremony, 10:30 a.m.: (Grant Avenue from California Street to Pacific Avenue). Get a glimpse of the larger parade and see lion dancing and giant puppets at the ribbon cutting at these free events. Also on Feb. 14 is the Chinese New Year Flower Market Fair, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. on Grant Avenue (Clay to Broadway). Oranges, tangerines (symbols of abundant happiness), flowers, plants, and a variety of auspicious foods are just a few of the items that will be for sale at this fascinating flower market. It also runs on Sunday, Feb. 15 from 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 28: Miss Chinatown USA Pageant, 7 p.m. (Palace of Fine Arts Theater, 3301 Lyon Street). Young women from across the United States vie for the opportunity to become goodwill ambassadors for the Chinese community. Tickets are $35–$65 and can be purchased at Washington Bakery and Restaurant (733 Washington Street, 415-397-3232) or East West Bank (900 Kearny Street, 415-397-8988).

Saturday, March 7: Chinese New Year Parade, 5:15 p.m. (Market Street at Second). Yes, it’s fabulous — incredibly so — San Francisco at its best, and it’s free to the public. If you’re in the mood to enjoy it sitting down, bleacher tickets are available for $30 (415-680-6297 or 415-982-3000).

Friday, March 8: Miss Chinatown Coronation Ball, 6 p.m.–midnight (Hilton San Francisco Union Square, 333 O’Farrell Street). Dine and dance the night away at one of the highlights of the new year celebrations. Call 415-982-3000 for tickets ($150).

You can also visit

for more information about the entire new year calendar of events, exact times, and locations of more fun and celebratory proceedings.

If you are fortunate enough to live in this wonderful town, what would keep you from attending as many of these exciting events as you can? So get to that parade, look Gum Lung right in his golden dragon eyes and wish him a Gung Hay Fat Choy! Sen Nin Fai Lok! Happy New Year!

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