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Chinese New Year Festivities in San Francisco & the Bay Area

Lion Dances, Chinese New Year Parade & More for the Year of the Horse in 2014


Lunar New Year in Redwood City

Feb. 8, at 11 am-4 pm
Acrobats, lion dances, music, martial arts, taiko drumming, food and kid-oriented arts and crafts.
At Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City. Free.

Chinese New Year Celebration at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach

Feb. 8 & 9, at 10 am-5 pm
Take a lunar zodiac personality quiz to find out which animal you are (or ought to be) and decorate lion dance masks. Magic shows at 1 and 3 pm both days.
At Playland-Not-at-the-Beach, 10979 San Pablo Ave., El Cerrito 94530. Admission $10, 15.

Miss Chinatown USA Pageant

Feb. 8, at 7:30 pm
Young women from across the country compete for prizes and scholarships in the annual pageant. The winners serve as goodwill ambassadors for the Chinese community during the new year.
At Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco. Tickets $35, 45, 65.

Chinatown YMCA Chinese New Year Run

Feb. 9, at 8 am
See Chinatown, North Beach and the Financial District on this 10K run/walk that benefits the Y's youth and teen programs. (A 5k option is also available). Prizes given to the fastest finishers in different age categories, the best dressed horse and some random runners.
Starts at Grant Ave. and Sacramento St.; finishes on Kearny St. between California and Sacramento. Registration fee $35, 40; includes T-shirt and finish-line goodies.

Lunar New Year at the Zoo

Feb. 9, at 10 am-3 pm
Acrobats, lion and folk dancing, Chinese yo-yo tricks, and a Chinese-zodiac-animals scavenger hunt. People born in horse years (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 and 2014) are admitted free.
At San Francisco Zoo, Sloat Blvd. & Great Highway, San Francisco 94132. Activities free with zoo admission.

Year of the Horse Celebration

Feb. 9, at 11 am-4 pm
Performances by the Chinese American International School of classical music and dances from China (capped by a lion dance to scare off evil spirits); storytelling about the Chinese zodiac animals; and hands-on activities for kids.
At the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., San Francisco 94102. Free with museum admission.

Lunar New Year Celebration at the Oakland Museum

Feb. 9, at 12-4:30 pm
An Asian multicultural new year celebration that includes taiko drumming, Korean-pop and bhangra dance performances, henna art, Tibetan prayer flag-making, demos of ikebana, Vietnamese martial arts and Chinese opera makeup, Chinese and Japanese folk story-telling and lion and dragon dances, too.
At the Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., Oakland 94607. Free with regular museum admission.

Miss Chinatown USA Coronation Ball

Feb. 14, at 6 pm–midnight
The new Miss Chinatown USA and her court are crowned at this black-tie dinner/dance.
At San Francisco Hilton & Towers, 333 O'Farrell St., San Francisco. Tickets $120.

Chinatown Community Street Fair

Feb. 15, at 10 am-4:30 pm; Feb. 16, at 9 am-5 pm
Calligraphy, fortune-telling, roving giant puppets, shopping and a stage with acrobatics, folk dancing, opera, lion dancing and other entertainment.
On Grant Ave., from California to Broadway; and on Pacific Ave., Washington and Jackson streets from Kearny to Stockton. Free.

Chinese Culture Center Spring Festival

Feb. 15, at 11:30 am-4 pm
Exhibits, crafts, martial arts demos and folk dances, all indoors. Learn how to write calligraphy in a hands-on workshop. Storyteller Charlie Chin premieres "Men Who Conquered Mountains," about Chinese railroad workers. 
At the Chinese Culture Center, 750 Kearny St., 3/F, San Francisco 94108. Free.

Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt

Feb. 15, at 4:30-9 pm
As the Chinese New Year Parade proceeds, crack clues that test your wits and skills and take you to obscure sites in Chinatown, North Beach and Telegraph Hill--and try to beat the clock and other teams to win prizes. You’re bound to learn bits of San Francisco history and culture.
Begins and ends at Justin Herman Plaza, Market St. at the Embarcadero, San Francisco. Tickets $12-50.

Chinese New Year Parade

The parade finale is the dance of the dynamic Golden Dragon. Knight Lights Photography

Feb. 15, at 5:20-8 pm
Decorated floats, marching bands and drill teams, lion dancers, stilt walkers, ear-splitting firecrackers and the 270-foot-long Golden Dragon ("gum lung" in Cantonese), which is brought to life by 100 people. This is one of the few remaining night-time parades in the US and one of the top ten parades in the world, according to the International Festivals and Events Association.
Starts at Market and Second streets; ends at Kearny and Jackson. Free. Bleacher seats $30.

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