Tradition marched through the streets of Marysville Saturday. The 132nd Bok Kai Festival brought thousands of onlookers and participants to "D" street.. Where a parade passed by the temple that inspired it all.
VIP Parade Chair Candice Young-Fresquez says, "I think it's a great family fun event, but as well as to get the Chinese culture exposure out to other communities and cultures." The annual tradition, which organizers say is the oldest continuously held parade in California, is held every year to celebrate the birthday of the Chinese Water God. "He's the God of water, so that Marysville doesn't flood. He's to prevent Marysville from flooding, but yet to bring water for our crops," says Young-Fresquez.
Roughly 5,000 people from all over the state came to watch the 83 groups who participated in the parade. And even participants came from near and far. Dragon dancer Danny Luong says, "The environment feels like were back at home in San Francisco. Everybody is just excited to watch us."
The parade offers everything from martial arts groups and dragon dancers, to marching bands and old fashioned cars.. Something for everyone.
Marysville resident Whimsy Lim says, "It's really amazing and lots of stuff to look at.." "I think it's really cool. Good food," says Yuba City resident Jack Rentz.
And after 2 hours of entertainment, the year of the dragon parade finally came to a close, with the traditional 175-foot dragon that wraps around 2 strings of fire crackers to end with a bang.
Saturday's parade is just the beginning of the two day festival. The celebration continues Sunday with the tradition of the good luck rings.