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After SF's Chinatown merchants raise concerns, board votes to adjust lion dance entertainment permit

After weeks of mediation to no avail, there is a little movement when it comes to the future of lion dance performances in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

The city of San Francisco and county’s board of appeals voted Wednesday to adjust a permit to make the scope smaller. But some merchants are upset about the wide scope of the permit the group got and it includes closing three blocks every weekend for the next year.

On Wednesday night, some merchants took up the first part of the issue with the board. They want the entertainment permit by “LionDanceME” to shrink. It was approved for both Saturdays and Sundays from Apr. 6 to Mar. 30, 2025, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on three blocks.

The board voted to adjust the permit to cover one block on just Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. and expire at the end of June.

Merchants said the pandemic-era street closures that are now permanent thanks to city supervisors are stifling their business.

“It’s a very tough business for our very small business. If you are taking away Saturday and Sunday, I don’t know how can I survive,” said business owner Jennifer Hwa.

“This is a great tradition, we want to keep it alive but at the same time, we don’t want to sit here and annoy people,” said Norman Lau with LionDanceME. “We want to come to a nice agreement because we’re all in the community together.”

The second part is still to come as merchants plan to go to SFMTA to argue a reconditioning of that permit which closes the streets. It’s unclear when that will happen.


Source: NBC Bay Area

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