Chinese New Year parade and festivities roaring back for the year of the tiger

With a small army in attendance, San Francisco's Year of the Tiger celebration kicked off in the heart of Chinatown in a festive, happy and grateful way with fireworks and dancing dragons.

America's oldest Chinatown kicked off the Lunar New Year on Tuesday to a huge, sun-bathed crowd. 

"The tiger: brave, competent, energetic and tigers are born to take on a challenge," said Harlan Wong of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.  Everyone is invited to the weeks long celebration. 

"This is it. Everybody be brave, not stupid. I've got my mask on. You wear your mask too," said the Reverend Norman Fong of the Chinatown Community Development Center. 

The last Chinese New Year’s Parade here was in 2020, just before COVID shut America down. "Two years of unwanted hibernation. Right? So, what we really want is to have a roaring comeback with the Year of the Tiger," said Mr. Wong.

It has been two tough years. "In the face of a global pandemic and unprecedented acts of hate, our Chinese community has shown the world what it means to be strong and resilient," said SF Supervisor Catherine Stefani who was acting SF mayor for the day.

"The safest, least transmissive community in all of San Francisco, which in turn is the safest community in California," said SF Supervisor Aaron Peskin. "So, let's stand united and make sure we really bring excitement back to San Francisco and Chinatown," said SF Supervisor Connie Chan. 

SEE ALSO: Lunar New Year: Celebrations for the Year of the Tiger bring hope

The Chinese General Counsel passed on China's best wishes. "I wish everybody a Happy New Year. Enjoy health, happiness and good fortune in the Year of Tiger," said Counsel General of China Gao Zhansheng. Former Mayor Willie Brown, beloved in this community, made a New Year’s prediction. "It's the year of the tiger. That now means that Cincinnati is gonna beat Los Angeles in the Super Bowl," said Brown.

Six tiger statues have been placed around the city to allow folks from near and far take a picture with a tiger. The live New Chinese Year's Parade is on the 19th on KTVU. Gung Hay Fat Choy!