The Lunar New Year’s Street Fair in Chinatown in San Francisco canceled due to COVID-19 Omicron Surge; Parade On For Now – San Francisco news

The Lunar New Year's Street Fair in Chinatown in San Francisco canceled due to COVID-19 Omicron Surge;  Parade On For Now - San Francisco news

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Story Highlights:

  • Organizers canceled a Lunar New Year street fair that was supposed to take place next week.

  • The merchants had hoped the street fair would boost foot traffic and bring in extra money.  But with the omicron variant, they said it wasn’t safe to move forward.

Many business owners complained it felt like March 2020 again with a lot of closures, cancellations, and uncertainties.

Stockton Street in San Francisco’s Chinatown. (CBS)

“It’s really slow and it doesn’t have that much tourists coming,” said Linda Liu, who works in the Chinatown area.

Liu noticed foot traffic has declined a lot in recent weeks.

“It kind of hurts businesses, especially the small businesses,” Liu told KPIX 5.

A business leader told KPIX 5 things were looking up this past summer with visitors returning to Chinatown.  They thought the pandemic was nearing an end, but omicron changed all of that. READ MORE: French Bulldog Stolen From Owner at Gunpoint In Oakland; Reward Offered

The surge in cases has forced the Chinatown Neighborhood Association to cancel next week’s annual Chinese New Year Street Fair on Stockton Street.  It was canceled last year as well. “It’s good to cancel.  No one is going to come out even if they have the street fair.  A lot of people are scared to walk on crowded sidewalks,” said Bao Huing in Cantonese, who owns Tian Long Appliance Corp on Stockton Street.

Huing said the street fair would’ve been very beneficial for her, with more visitors often meaning more money. “Before the pandemic, a lot of people attended the street fair.  And that helped our business,” said Huing.

The canceled street fair on Stockton Street is a different event from the San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival and Parade, which is the biggest Lunar New Year celebration in this region. MORE NEWS: South Bay Officials Call on Private Healthcare Providers to Ramp Up COVID Testing

“I think it’s really sad of the cancellation. Not just for the Chinese community, but for everyone,” said Liu. The annual event is typically held two weeks before Lunar New Year to give an early jump start to the celebration.  Lunar New Fear falls on February 1 this year.

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