San Francisco Annual Events

The Best Parades in San Francisco

Parades in San Francisco


Who doesn’t love a parade? From the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago, parades are an important part of of culture. Parades can really come together for any occasion like holidays, cultural celebrations or, if you’ve ever been to New Orleans, for literally no reason at all. Comedian Hannibal Buress has a hilarious stand up routine about how you can throw a parade anytime in New Orleans for $300. Check out the video below if you haven’t seen it (totally worth it).



If you enjoy parades, then San Francisco is a great place to be. Throughout the year, the are a huge variety of parades from big to small. Here are some of the best parades in San Francisco.

Chinese New Year Parade

Chinese New Year is celebrated around the world and the Chinese New Year Parades are always the most joyous and fun parts of the occasion. The actual date of the parade changes from year to year, since it is based on the lunar calendar, however it always takes place in the beginning of the year in either January or February. The event dates back to the 1860s and has evolved into one of the most popular annual San Francisco events of the year. The parade is a wonderful example of Asian culture with beautiful, colorful floats, dancers, traditional costumes, firecrackers and the biggest attraction of all, the massive Golden Dragon that stretches nearly 300 feet.

Gay Pride Parade

Described as the biggest gathering of the LGBTQ community and it allies in the United States, the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade is a celebration like no other. The origins of the event date back to 1970, when a small group of about 30 people organized a March along Polk Street. Meant to be an isolated event, the event attracted attention from the original organizers, who put together a more structured event in 1972 that continued annually and grew into the massive event that exists today. It is estimated that over a million people from all over the World attend the Gay Pride Parade each year. The parade is a celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and features numerous floats, representatives from the LGBTQ community groups, politicians and more.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

People really love to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in San Francisco. During the week of the holiday, there are dozens of fun events like the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl, The Irish Bank Block Party, the St. Paddy’s Day Party on Front Street and, of course, the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival. Hosted by the United Irish Societies of San Francisco, the Parade takes place on the Saturday closest to March 14. You can check out the parade anywhere along the route, which goes from Market & 2nd St to City Hall.


Like the Chinese New Year Parade, Carnaval features impressive floats, people in costumes of all types, Latin dancing and an overall beautiful experience. The Parade is part of a 2-day festival that typically takes place over Memorial Day Weekend. The biggest multi-cultural celebration that takes place on the West Coast, Carnaval features delicious food from around the world, live music, dance presentations and more.


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