It's been around for well over a century. Some 100,000+ turn out for the weekend-long celebration. And the proceedings pack color, music, fireworks, dancing and some amazing costumes into one glorious party.
Send out the old and embrace the new at the Golden Dragon Parade and Lunar New Year Festival. While the Year of the Ox 4707 arrived on Monday the 26th, the splashy to-do unfurls Saturday, January 31 and Sunday, February 1 around Chinatown. The parade takes place on North Broadway on Saturday from 2-5PM, while the festival is on both days (from 10AM-8PM on Saturday and 10AM-5PM on Sunday).
The centerpieces of the parade are the lengthy, serpentine, undulating dragons, which are operated by several people holding the colorful creatures from below. No matter what wonders you've beheld in your journeys, the hand-operated dragons frolicking right before your eyes remain a breathtaking sight. Also exciting are the traditional firecrackers that are part of the parade and Lunar New Year festivities.
A few hints. The Gold Line has a station right at Chinatown, and, because of the huge crowds that are expected, arriving by public transportation can spare many frustrations. Also, plan on dining during your day in Chinatown. The only way we can stop eating the slippery shrimp at Yang Chow is to physically step away from the plate (oh, who are we kidding, we can't stop). If that parade-close restaurant is too packed, there are many other delicious choices nearby, including dim sum options galore.