Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fireworks, Drums, Dragons

It's the time of year for San Francisco's biggest celebration: the annual Chinese New Year parade this Saturday February 23, starting at 5:15 p.m. from Second and Market streets (up Geary, then Powell and Post) to Kearny and Jackson in the heart of Chinatown.

Expect almost 100 floats, marching bands, drum groups, fireworks, lions and, of course, the long colorful golden dragon to cap it all off in a San Francisco tradition that dates from the Gold Rush days.

Grant Avenue will be abuzz with a street fair 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, sidewalks along Stockton Street even busier than usual with holiday shoppers and cavernous dim sum restaurants packed -- all in celebration of the Year of the Snake.

My San Francisco Chinatown travel app -- a guide to the neighborhood's historic sites, shops, restaurants and old alleyways -- has been updated for the occasion with more photos and entrees than before. Maps, contact information and links to websites are included.

It's available for iPhones and iPads in iTunes and also in the Android store. (However, the updated Chinatown app won't be ready until March 2 for Android).

Gung Hay Fat Choy!