Every neighborhood has its signature event: Fillmore Jazz, Folsom Street Fair, North Beach Festival. But once a year, Chinatown humbles all other boroughs.
Monday marked the Chinese New Year and the start of the year of the dragon -- and the celebration has only just begun. Over the next few weeks, San Francisco will host a Chinatown run, a Miss Chinatown pageant and ball, a basketball jamboree and next Saturday's famous Chinese New Year Parade -- named one of the top ten parades in the world by the International Festivals and Events Association.
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Our city has been deeply rooted in Chinese culture, from the immigration during the Gold Rush and beyond (more than 25 percent of our population is of Chinese ancestry) to our current Mayor Ed Lee. And on Monday, Lee helped ring in the new year by naming Darlene Chiu Bryan the new Executive Director of ChinaSF -- a collective economic development initiative that helps support Chinese investment and business expansion in San Francisco.
Check out the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade website for a schedule of events, and head to Chinatown on Saturday, February 11 for the Chinese New Year Parade -- a San Francisco tradition since the 1860s.
Until then, check out some of our editors' favorite Chinatown spots and a video from the 2011 parade, courtesy of MarkDayComedy below: