The 16th annual San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival and Parade lights up SOMA Pilipinas (SF's Filipino Cultural Heritage District), Saturday, December 8, 2018 at Yerba Buena Gardens, Jessie Square, and St. Patrick's Church, from 5-8pm. Community members and commissioned artists will create hand-made lanterns to display at this free, family-friendly event. The festival features a parol lantern parade, a gallery of handmade parols, with live music and dance performances.
A highlight of the evening will be the free Pilipino sweets and delicacies, featuring acclaimed chef Francis Ang (Pinoy Heritage), plus newcomers to the pastry scene 'Sweet Cheese Us' and 'Sweet Condesa'. The parol lantern is the quintessential Pilipino symbol of hope, blessings, luck, and peace, during the holiday season, and can be found lighting up windows in Pilipino homes throughout the world.
This year's theme will honor the resilience of leaders, artists, youth, student groups, and especially families who have faced political and economic challenges for decades in San Francisco and the Bay Area. The Parol Festival is not just a celebration, but also a reflection of history in the area which has long been a site of resistance against community displacement. It is a reminder of the community's strength and the ways it has continued to rise up.
The SF Parol Lantern Festival is a collaborative project by the Filipino American Development Foundation and Kularts, together they are hosting several workshops for groups, families, and individuals to learn how to make their own Parol Lantern over the next few weeks. Workshops will be held Friday evenings leading up to the December 8, at the Bayanihan Community Center, 1010 Mission Street, from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. Participants are encouraged to enter in the Parol Lantern competition, a cash prize of $500 will be awarded to the most creative design. To register for a workshop visit https://www.parollanternfestival.com