The dragon is assembled
in an empty storefront a month before the actual parade.
Costing $20,000, this dragon is 180 feet long and is made
in China. It requires three teams of 22 men taking
turns to march the dragon through the parade route.
Of course, the dragon comes at the end of the parade,
all lit up, snaking amid long strings of crackling, exploding
firecrackers and clouds of smoke. See
a Quicktime movie of this dragon.
The parade runs through downtown
San Francisco to Chinatown. The Gong signals the
beginning of the parade. Marching bands, floats,
carloads of dignitaries, Kung Fu academies, with their
troupe of dancing lions, and mythological puppets walk
the parade route.
The puppets you see in the
picture are the Four Monkey Kings, the eight immortal
deities (people of all walks of life who were given immortal
status), the three gods of Longevity, Wealth and Happiness,
and the Four Brothers.