Escapes: Ring in Lunar New Year in San Francisco

The March 7 Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco runs from 5:15 to 8 p.m.
The March 7 Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco runs from 5:15 to 8 p.m. Knight Lights Photography


Chinese parade lights up the night

What began in the 1860s as a way for Chinese immigrants to educate San Franciscans about their culture has grown into one of the largest Chinese New Year celebrations on the continent.

Thousands will head downtown March 7 to enjoy the Chinese New Year Parade, with elaborate floats, costumes, lion dancing and firecrackers. The enormous 268-foot-long Golden Dragon, which takes more than 100 people to carry, will return. The route begins at Market and Second and runs to Kearny and Jackson, from 5:15 to 8 p.m. It’s free to watch from the streets; bleacher seats can be purchased for $30.

Even more entertainment can be found all weekend at the Chinese Community Street Fair, with more than 80 vendors, folk dancing, opera and drumming. The free event takes place in the heart of Chinatown, on Grant Avenue from California Street to Broadway, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 7; and on Sacramento Street, Washington Street, Jackson Street and Pacific Avenue between Stockton Street and Kearny Street, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 8. For more information, visit


Wildflower tours

What: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is offering naturalist-led tours of the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve near Oroville. Tours – around 2 miles over uneven terrain that last two hours – include discussion on the area’s wildflowers and vernal pools.

When: Two tours (10 a.m. and 1 p.m.) are offered every Saturday through April.

Where: North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve

Cost: Free (but advance registration is required at

Information: (916) 358-2869


Art and nature

What: Find inspiration in the work of British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, then explore the Marin Headlands – scavenging the coastline for natural objects – to create your own piece of art. Stay afterward for a local, organic lunch.

When: 11 a.m. March 7

Where: Point Bonita YMCA, 981 Fort Barry, Sausalito

Cost: Free; lunch $12 general and $8 children 12 and under


Santa Cruz

Hummingbird celebration

What: Bring the whole family to UC Santa Cruz’s educational Hummingbird Days mini-festival, in honor of the return of the Allen’s hummingbird. Expect guided tours, presentations, crafts, kids activities and a bird illustration workshop. There will also be plants, books, bird feeders and other souvenirs for sale.

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 7-8

Where: Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz

Cost: Free



Women’s a cappella festival

What: All genders, ages and vocal styles are welcome to attend SheSings, a festival full of workshops, education and performances. Purchase a weekend pass or buy tickets to individual events.

When: March 7-8

Where: Locations vary

Cost: $80 weekend pass, $20-$40 individual events



Birding hike

What: Join the Solano Land Trust Raptor Team for a hike spotlighting birds of prey. In the past, the tour has seen golden eagles, bald eagles, rough-legged hawks, peregrine falcons and many more. Expect a slow-to-moderate pace over about 4 miles, with rugged, slippery hills and thorny plants. Registration and payment required in advance.

When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 8

Where: Lynch Canyon, 3100 Lynch Road, Fairfield

Cost: $10 plus $5 parking


Bee Staff