More than 200,000 expected to attend Saturday's Chinese New year parade in San Francisco

San Francisco city officials are encouraging people to sign up for text message safety alerts if they plan on attending the 2019 Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade.

The SF Department of Emergency Management is asking the public to text LUNARSF to 888-777 to receive emergency text message alerts related to the Chinese New Year Parade celebrations that will take place on Saturday.

Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director of the Dept. of Emergency Management said singing up for the alerts from AlertSF is one of the simplest ways to stay informed and safe should there be any situation that may impact the parade. The messages will be sent in English and Spanish.

Other agencies working together on public safety include the San Francisco Police Department, the San Francisco Fire Department, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office, and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
SFPD Commander David Lazar said the police department wants people to be observant and to be aware of their surroundings. The agency is encouraging people to report any suspicious activity or noise complaints to the police non-emergency line at (415) 553-0123. They also advise to leave cars empty and not to bring any fireworks to the parade.

Meanwhile, crews are putting the final touches on the numerous floats that will be in the parade. Master Float Builder Stephanie Mufson said there are 20 floats this year. Their company, Parade Guys, crafted 19 of the 20 floats.

“I just think we’re able to push the limits of our creativity a little more every year,” Mufson said. “We have some amazing statues that our carvers worked on. There’s so much life and so much color.”

2019 is the Year of the Pig so Mufson said the public will see pigs everywhere. Some floats will feature custom made lanterns and LED lights. She said all the dazzle and sparkle is attributed to more than a mile of floral sheeting, roughly 1,000 pounds of glitter, and 700 gallons of paint.

“Our team puts so much love into these pieces,” Mufson said. “We really give it our all. Blood, sweat, and tears go in and we just really hope that people come out and they enjoy the parade and it brings them some joy and excitement.”

More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the parade.