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Organizers cancel San Francisco’s famous Chinese New Year Parade

San Francisco’s world-renowned Chinese New Year Parade has been officially canceled for 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, organizers announced Sunday.

The parade, organized by the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce since 1958, says the celebration is traditionally one of the biggest Lunar New Year parades outside of Asia. Hundreds of thousands of people descend on downtown San Francisco each year to see the floats, performers and firecrackers explode to ward off evil spirits.

Ching Wong/SFBay People watch fireworks exploding in the air on Clay Street at Chinatown during annual Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

The parade, the culmination of a two-week Lunar New Year celebration, has been rolling through The City since the 1860s as way to to share Chinese culture with others.

KTVU began broadcasting the event in 1987, bringing the festivities to people inside the comfort of their own homes. 

The chamber said in a statement:

“While we are very hopeful for positive changes in the coming year, we must deal with our current conditions and recognize that plans for everyone’s safety in the future is our most important responsibility.”

Instead, the chamber said they are focusing on a special broadcast to air Feb. 20 at 6 p.m.

Organizers said they are working on ways “reimagine” celebrating the Year of the Ox:

“For the first time, we will be displaying a few of our colorful and culturally decorated floats to provide the public a rare opportunity to view these beautiful creations up close.”

Additionally, life-sized oxen statues will be displayed around The City prior to the special broadcast.

Ching Wong/SFBay A dancer waves during Chinese New Year Parade celebrating the Year of the Pig on Market Street in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, February 23, 2019.

In normal years, several activities and events occur before the parade, including the Flower Market, the Miss Chinatown U.S.A Pageant and a community fair. Most festivities are centered in the heart of Chinatown.

Chamber officials said the public can follow the social media handle @chineseparade on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for up-to-date information about the special broadcast and pre-show event.

The chamber said:

“Like an Ox, with fortitude and hard work, together we will build a bright and resilient 2021.”

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