Chinese New Year Parade Draws a Crowd

The Bay Area's loudest and most colorful parade went off without a hitch.

San Francisco's Chinatown sparkled last night for the 2012 Chinese New Year Parade.

Early estimates said half a million people lined the streets to celebrate the year of the dragon.

The parade is a city tradition that dates back more than 150 years and is the largest event of its kind outside Asia.

This year there were two dozen floats, plus a gaggle of marching bands, dancing dragons and thousands and thousands of firecrackers. The parade started at Market and Second streets and continued down Geary Boulevard and Post Street before ending on Kearny Street at Columbus Avenue.

The weather was a bit chilly, but dry. People who turned out for the parade said traffic wasn't too bad getting into and out of the City. Apparently after a few decades, people have learned the ins and outs of getting to the big event. The key, they said, is taking public transportation.

Sunday morning was clean up day as city crews swept up all that paper leftover from the firecrackers, along with general trash of such an event.

The Department of Public Works started their massive cleaning effort at the beginning of the month. It included steam cleaning the Broadway Street Tunnel, washing the entrance to Chinatown on Grant Avenue and removing graffiti pretty much everywhere along the parade route.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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