APEC celebrations highlight cultural traditions and the best of San Francisco

It was an eventful week in San Francisco.

Leaders from around the world descended on the city, hoping to strengthen the Asian-Pacific region.

The summit ended on Friday, but on the closing night people celebrated what was a historic event. 

Two events took place at the same time in different parts of the city. One of them was held in Chinatown where there was a spectacular display of Chinese culture.- This was a chance for the best of San Francisco to shine and dazzle with the spotlight on the city.

"People are, they're warm. They're welcoming.  It's absolutely amazing. It feels like I'm in China," said Zena Lubus, a visitor from Detroit, Michigan.

The festivities were part of a disco block party.


Small businesses lost revenue after city promised big business for APEC

On Friday, small business owners in the APEC security zone who stayed open said although 20,000 people were in the city for the summit, they lost revenue.

"We really wanted to put on an event to welcome people to come to Chinatown and that there are a lot of things to do outside APEC," said Jenny Leung, executive director of the Chinese Culture Center.

The nonprofit partnered with Edge on the Square to put on the celebration.

A local Chinese artist taught attendees the art of paper cutting.

Over at Golden Gate Park, organizers closed out APEC week with a so-called "summit to the sea."

One hundred people pedaled along Ocean Beach.

Among the bicyclists was APCE event organizer Minga Aguhob.

"I hope people will see the heart of San Francisco and San Franciscans," said Aguhob,
"We put aside all our titles, all these things and just connect as human beings and have fun together and do great things together."

San Francisco Supervisor Joel Engardio came up with the idea of the bike ride to showcase the best of San Francisco, along with the ocean and sunset. 

Back in Chinatown, people danced carefree. Locals hope the improvements around the city brought on by APEC are permanent.

"Asian people are beautiful.  I'm sure they bring a lot to my life, and I'm just trying to learn and give back," said Tito Dixson, a San Francisco resident.

Both the block party and the bike ride were free.

Organizers said they hope to hold many more events to bring the community together in 2024.

Amber Lee is a reporter with ktvu.  Email amber at amber.Lee@fox.Com or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on facebook @amberktvu,  instagram @amberktvu  or twitter @amberktvu.