Despite coronavirus concerns, thousands turn out for SF Chinese New Year parade
SAN FRANCISCO - Despite some concern this week that the coronavirus scare would keep people away, thousands still showed up to the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade..
It's an event bursting with sound, color, and energy.
San Francisco's parade is the largest of its kind outside of Asia, attracting a diverse crowd of more than a hundred thousand each year.
"I love all the excitement and the energy and I love celebrating our culture," said Gloria Lee.
There were concerns some people wouldn't show up this year, due to fear of the coronavirus.
But with nearly 2,400 bleacher seat tickets sold -- similar to last year -- organizers say they've seen no negative effect on attendance.
"If there is, you could have fooled me because everyone out here it looks like they're enjoying themselves, ready for a good time, and yeah, there doesn't seem to be any kind of impact at all," said William Gee, parade organizer.
Something new this year, nearly one hundred young dancers wearing gowns representing the different provinces in China.
They were part of the 1.3 mile procession, meant to be a form of visual and auditory education.
"It's the atmosphere that we want to try to invite everyone to learn more about Chinese culture and we're happy to share it with everyone," said Gee.
That goal seemed to be fulfilled with a woman who drove from Sacramento to be part of the celebration.
"I love embracing, learning, experiencing like new cultures and experiences, so it's absolutely amazing, and I'm learning so much," said Chevelle.
Whether watching from the sidelines or the vantage point of one of the 4,200 participants, it's an energy filled night of excitement.
"It feels great, amazing, all the adrenaline, amazing," said parade participant Jeslyn Chun.
This year Organizers had to work extra hard leading up to the parade to dispel fears about the coronavirus.
It appears that work paid off.
Miss the 2020 Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade? Watch the entire event here.