The Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade returns bigger and better than ever. It still remains the largest Asian cultural event in North America, and was named one of the top ten parades in the world by the International Festivals & Events Association. The Chinese culture in San Francisco is a growing and well-respected group that decided to share their great culture with the rest of the world, thus introducing the parade in the 1860s to San Francisco as a means of teaching interested parties about Asian history.
The parade has several participants of varying ability and experience helping with the parade. People can easily catch it on local TV, or live online with comments. The stations to tune to are KTVU Fox 2 or KTSF Channel 26 in the San Francisco area. The Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year parade is two hours and will explode onto the scene Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM PST.
The Miss Chinatown pageant winner will make an appearance, no doubt giving Miss Universe a run for her money. The fanfare is huge, and even includes a parade dragon that takes the strength of over 100 men and women to carry throughout the parade. The Golden Dragon itself is 268 feet. long, and stands out impressively to the other streamers, lights, and dancers.
The Southwest Airlines Chinese Parade is in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Being the longest in the calendar (based on the lunar cycle), it is by default one of the favorites of many. The New Year parade is thousands of years old and features several themes related to the Chinese zodiac. Some are more familiar than others, but all end up being fabulous, whether it’s for the lighting or the costume. This year is considered the year of the goat. The amount of firecrackers being popped during the parade will rival 4th of July celebrations. There is a judging aspect of the parade much like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and as spectacular as some of the floats and shows are in the parade, everyone ends up having a favorite.
With social media being at its height, this will likely be the most publicized Chinese New Year parade ever, worldwide, as well as in San Francisco. There are already other countries that have adopted this cultural event such as Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and even India. They all have their own parades, whether short or long, to pay homage to the Chinese New Year celebration. For the traditionalist, the celebration lasts for two weeks. Several clips will be uploaded and the event will even be streamed online at several unofficial online outlets. The merchandise surrounding the celebration is as intense as Christmas marketing, although the charm manages to not get lost when it comes to the Chinese New Year.
The Chinese New Year parade is one of the most exciting experiences for a family, and even more so for someone that is willing to learn about a great culture. It is rare for a parade to not only offer fun, but a valuable history lesson, as well.