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Our Events

Each year, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce hosts a number of important civic and cultural events. Among these are a host of the most prominent Lunar New Year events: the San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival and Parade, the Miss Chinatown U.S.A. Pageant and Coronation Ball, Flower Market Fair, Choy Sun Doe Day, Basketball Jamboree, Community Street Fair, and the Chinatown YMCA Run.


The history of San Franciscans celebrating Lunar New Year dates back to 1860. Since that year, San Francisco’s Chinese community has held an annual parade to ring in the new year. In 1958, the parade was first formally run under the direction of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and it has been continually organized by the Chinese Chamber ever since.

Today, San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade is the largest nighttime parade of its kind in world. The parade and accompanying street fairs attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. 


The Miss Chinatown U.S.A. Pageant and Coronation Ball are also Lunar New Year traditions that have been held annually since 1958. The scope of these events has always been nationwide, with the first year’s crown holder, June Gong who represented Miami, Florida. 

The pageant, in its current format, is patterned somewhat along the lines of the “Miss America” pageant, and combines beauty-talent-fashion with a quiz show. For the talent contest, one may see the contestants performing Chinese folk-dances, the latest American steps, singing, or playing musical instruments. 

The search for contestants is initiated each fall by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Chinese organizations, business groups and colleges are invited to nominate entrants. Many cities send their own contest winner to San Francisco to compete. Once the entry is accepted, a sponsor helps defray some of the expenses. Pageant winners are awarded scholarship and prizes. 

The Coronation Ball is a black-tie dinner/dance held at the conclusion of the Miss Chinatown U.S.A. Pageant. to celebrate and crown the newly-selected Miss Chinatown U.S.A. along with her court. The ball is a highlight of the entire Lunar New Year festivities, with live music, delicious food, and other traditions associated with Miss Chinatown U.S.A. 

2001 Miss Chinatown USA Pageant
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