The 118th Golden Dragon Parade
In celebrating over one hundred years of tradition, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles presents the 118th Annual Golden Dragon Parade. With over thousands and thousands of individuals lining the parade route and thousands viewing the telecast each year, this colorful celebrating along North Broadway in Chinatown has become the premiere cultural event in the Southern California Asian-American Community.
Since the mid-1980's, the Golden Dragon Parade has expanded to include almost two dozen floats, multiple marching bands, government officials, various dignitaries, entertainers, local business leaders and cultural groups. The parade theme emphasizes ethnic diversity, Chinese culture and exposure to Chinese-American businesses. The parade continues to be a rich and diverse experience for Angelenos of all ages and ethnicities.
The day of the Lunar New Year is the most celebrated holiday of the year for nearly 1.5 million persons of Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese descent in Southern California. It is celebrated with colorful festivals, parades, and most importantly, large family gatherings. It is also a time when ancestors are fondly remembered and families give thanks for their blessings. Red packets of money (Lai see or Hung bao) and firecrackers add fun and excitement to the Chinese New Year celebration.
We invite you to be a part of this important annual celebration - as a spectator, participant, or sponsor!
Want to be a participant ?
A Los Angeles Tradition
Over one hundred years ago, the Chinese community began to participate in the parade of the City of Los Angeles. In 1989, the Chinese lion and dragon procession were regarded as one of the most beautiful unit in the City and Annual La Fiesta Parade. With this initial participation in the parade, the Chinese community was applauded for its contribution to the celebration. The Fiesta committee immediately requested that the Chinese community permanently join in this annual event. During these early years, the Chinese Merchants Association organized and sponsored the lion dance procession, in addition to one or two parade floats. At one point the organization also arranged for the use of a dragon from the Chinese community in Marysville, California. Eventually, they raised $1,500 to acquire a dragon that required 25 men to maneuver. Their units were always considered the main attraction of the Fiesta Parade and had always drawn a very enthusiastic and excited crowd.
In 1956 the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles (formerly Chinatown Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles) joined in the celebration. New dragon heads were imported from Hong Kong and local family association members were hired to perform the cultural dances. In the early 1960's the lion and dragon dancers would visit every Chinese business along the parade route. Financial support for the parade included fundraising dinners and door-to-door solicitations to gather support form the Chinatown business community.
After the Vietnam war in 1975, Indo-Chinese refugees poured into the United States and soon became active in our community. Local family associations, Buddhist temples, and community-based organizations mushroomed and the parade became a focal point for community participation.
In the 1970's, actor and martial arts master Bruce Lee was the Grand Marshal of our parade. Since then, other Grand Marshal's have included David Carradine and Keye Lue from the television series Kung Fu, Dr. Haing S. Ngor from motion picture The Killing Fields, Kieu Chinh from Joy Luck Club, and Garrett Wang from television Star Trek. Over the years, many other celebrities have also participated in our Golden Dragon Parade.
Without a doubt, the Golden Dragon Parade is the highlight of the Chinese New Year in Southern California!
Come and watch!
The parade originally took place on Friday nights but was changed to Saturday afternoons to allow for greater community participation. We now draw over 110,000 anxious spectators each year along North Broadway in Los Angeles Chinatown!