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Byline: Daily News

San Francisco will mark the beginning of the Year of the Rat for more than two weeks in one of the nation's largest and most spectacular Chinese New Year celebrations.

Events begin at noon Feb. 17 in Union Square with traditional dancers and martial arts demonstrations, and will wind up in the giant Chinese New Year Parade from 6 to 8 p.m. March 2. The parade begins on Market Street at Second Street, goes north to Stockton St., east to Post Street, south to Kearny Street and east to Pacific Street in Chinatown. Standing room along the parade route is free; bleacher seats cost $20 each.

Other Chinese New Year events include:

Chinese New Year Flower Market from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 17 and 18 on Grant Avenue from Broadway to Jackson Street and Pacific Avenue from Stockton to Kearny Streets.

Chinatown Community Street Fair runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Grant Avenue from Broadway to Jackson Street and on Pacific Avenue from Stockton to Kearny streets.

(The new year - 4694 - officially begins at a moment after midnight Feb. 19. According to Chinese folklore dating from the 27th century B.C., each year is influenced by the personality of whichever one of 12 animals rules the year. The Year of the Rat is seen as a year of opportunity, a propitious time to launch new ventures and make new investments, a year of optimism.)

Chinese New Year events information and tickets: (415) 391-9680.

Also in San Francisco, the Russian Festival at the Russian Center Feb. 2-4 will feature Russian performers, folk dancers, singers and food. Information: (415) 921-7631.

Indio: The 50th annual National Date Festival and Riverside County Fair will run Feb. 16-25 at the Riverside County Fairgrounds, featuring an Arabian Nights pageant, camel and ostrich races, displays of local produce, fine arts, photography, home arts, floriculture, gems and minerals, and livestock. Information: (619) 863-8247.

Riverside: The Riverside Dickens Festival runs Feb. 1-5, centered in a re-creation of a London marketplace and celebrating the life and times of writer Charles Dickens. Included will be arts and crafts and a children's fair. Information: (800) 430-4140.

Folsom: Quilting enthusiasts can see locally produced works, get appraisals of their works and see quilting demonstrations at a Quilt Show that runs Feb. 3 and 4. Information: (916) 933-3795.

Calistoga: The Napa Valley International Mustard Celebration runs Feb. 7-11, featuring food, wine, art and entertainment - including tastings of more than 500 mustards from around the world. Information: (800) 666-8782.

San Juan Capistrano: To commemorate Abraham Lincoln's birthday, Mission San Juan Capistrano will display documents the former president signed deeding the mission back to the church Feb. 10 and 11, along with other displays. Costumed characters will re-create the presentation of the Lincoln document. The all-day event includes entertainment and food. Information: (714) 248-2049.



The Lion Dance is an important part of the New Year parade.
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Travel
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 21, 1996
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