At precisely 5 p.m. on February 15, San Francisco locals and visitors alike excitedly pressed up against the metal, grill fences that were all lined up along the parade route, ready to end the Lunar Year celebrations with a loud and lengthy bang. All were ready for the explosive display of marching bands, mardi-gras-esque floats, lion dancers, and the ever-impressive, 29-segment long Golden Dragon. This particular parade, with its origins in the 1860s, is now one of the largest Chinese New Year parades outside of Asia, and certainly one of the grandest. Performers included school groups of little horse dancers and students of various intensive martial arts schools, as well as local politicians, many of Asian descent.
Every now and then, the parade would come to an abrupt stop as onlookers turned their heads to catch the brilliant display of fireworks that went off at the end of the street. Then, the dragons would once again, continue dancing down the street, the children would begin to squeal in happiness once more, and parade would go on.