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Downtown San Francisco readies for Chinese New Year Parade festivities

San Francisco readies for Chinese New Year Parade festivities
San Francisco readies for Chinese New Year Parade festivities 02:57

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Chinese New Year Parade festivities will be in full swing in San Francisco Saturday.

Streets will be closed and the city will be packed with people downtown and shops in the area are looking forward to the extra business.

RELATED: San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade is Saturday. Here's what to know

Ray Tam is a bartender at the Lipo Lounge in Chinatown.

"We're famous for the Chinese Mai Tais," Tam said.

This particular drink was highlighted on television by Anthony Bourdain and now people from all over the world come here to order this cocktail. Tam says he's already noticed business picking up the past couple of days. The Lunar New Year festivities have already brought in more customers.

"It helps me a lot because, overall, there's more people coming in," Tam said. "They come to the bars and they try the Mai Tais and helps with the cultures of Chinatown too. Helps business a lot."

In Union Square, the annual Ms. Chinatown pageant Friday night was held for the 66th time. One of the co-chairs of the event is Chelsea Hung, a San Francisco native who won the crown in 2016.

"It was just nerves but it was truly rewarding," Hung remembered. "All the hard work each contestant and myself have put into this."

As crews put the final touches on setting up for the parade, many hope this year's parade will be among the best-attended in the event's history. With inflation, some customers are holding on tighter to their wallets. Something Tam is hoping will not be the case this weekend.

"Tips help a lot because it's 90 percent of my income so yeah, it helps a lot," he said.

The community is looking forward to welcoming in the Year of the Dragon, a symbol of power and strength. The parade will feature a brand new 288 foot dragon that will make its debut Saturday.

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