2015 San Francisco Parol Lantern Festival & Parade
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Yerba Buena Gardens | Jessie Square | St. Patrick’s Church

In it’s 13th year, the Parol Lantern Festival has become a beloved holiday tradition for the Bay Area, SoMa Pilipino community. For Pilipinos, the parol lantern is one of the most iconic symbols in correlation of the Christmas season. In this annual festival we unite as a community in a family-friendly, at times competitive, but always enjoyable event to parade our homemade lanterns and share our holiday traditions with the whole City.

Enjoy the parol stroll parade, parol gallery, view the winning commission parol lanterns, merienda, live performances, the always exciting gimme games & see who earns top prize at the Tala Awards!

This year’s theme is:
Giving Light to the Future

How does your parol design and performance relate to your vision of the future, or what do you look forward to in the future? 

This year’s theme is in conjunction with the unveiling of the SoMa Pilipinas, a Filipino Social Heritage Special Use District in San Francisco.



Community organizations sign-up as contingents and build their expression of a parol lantern for a chance at the Tala Awards including a monetary reward and title of best Parol presentation! 

Want to participate but not sure how? We LOVE volunteers - pick your hours & get a FREE, awesome Parol Lantern hoodie! *Great opportunity for students to get volunteer hours!*


Parol in the News2014 Parol 2 (1)

Listed on Urban Backpaker’s “Best of the Holidays”

Listen to a story on “The California Report” at KQED (from 2012)

Read about it in AsianWeek Golden Gate Express (from 2012), Inquirer & Asian Journal: Something Filipino & Balitang America (2014)


Tala Awards

ALL participating parade contingents are eligible to compete for a highly coveted Tala Award! Judges will score parols based on 1) creativity/innovation, and 2) design/aesthetics. Please remember that you will be asked to arrive early on the day of the parade for judging.

Congratulations to our 2014 Tala Award Winners! 

1st Place $500: Canon Kip Senior Center 
2nd Place $100: Tenderloin Filipino American Community Association
3rd Place $75:  Veterans Equity Center


Parol Lantern Workshops

Workshops will be held almost every Friday in October, November & December at the Bayanihan Community Center, 1010 Mission Street, from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. If you’re making a parol for the first time, there’s no charge to make your first parol. Additional parol supplies are available for a fee. To learn more about the workshops visit: http://www.bayanihancc.org/parol/

Upcoming Workshop Dates: 

OCT: 23 & 30

NOV: 6, 13, 20

DEC: 4


20 thoughts on “Parol Lantern Festival & Parade

  1. Jeff says:

    How can you register to compete for the parol tala awards?


  2. Leah says:

    Is the parade open for anyone to watch? I was told we would need to participate in order to join the parade. How long is the parade for? Thanks.

    • kulblogadmin says:

      Hello Leah!

      All are welcome to come and enjoy the Parade and Festival. Please come on down to Jessie Square starting at 5pm for music, hot chocolate, and to enjoy our gallery of Parol Lanterns. The parade starts at 6pm across the street in Yerba Buena Gardens (visible from Jessie Square). Bring the whole family! Hope to see you there. :)

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  4. teyen says:

    hello! what is that all about? just volunteer?

    • kulblogadmin says:

      Hello Teyen,

      Yes, we definitely need volunteers for our Parol Lantern Festival & Parade! If you can, please sign up to join us by following this link: VOLUNTEER NOW! We need help with directing the parade and clean up. Free hoodies and snacks for volunteering!

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  6. Arlene says:

    Is it too late to purchase the kits…seeing as to how it’s tonight?

    • kulblogadmin says:

      Hello Arlene!

      It really depends on whether or not there are materials left. At this late date, you should call the Bayanihan Community Center directly at one of these two numbers: 415.348.8042 or 415.974.0349. Bernadette Sy or an associate can answer your questions. thanks, and hope to see you at the Parol Lantern Festival & Parade tomorrow!

  7. Cherie Kalei Alonzo says:


    I would also like to purcahse parol making kits for my family. Dec. 7th is not on the request form. Shall we complete the form anyway?

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    • Maria De Guzman says:

      Hello – are the parol-making workshops still open ? If so, which Fridays in December? We are a church group that has been invited by the Diocese of Oakland to participate at the Cathedral of Christ the LIght and we would like to learn from your workshop and purchse the parol making kits. Are they still available?


      • kulblogadmin says:

        Hello Maria,

        I’m so glad that you’re excited about the Parol-Making workshops! Our LAST parol workshop is coming up this Friday, December 7, 5-8pm, at the Bayanihan Community Center, 1010 Mission Street at 6th, San Francisco. If you’re interested in purchasing the parol-making kits, this is your last opportunity! CLICK HERE to visit our parol material request form, and pick up your supplies Friday night during the workshop. Have fun, and see you there!

  10. Lina says:

    Hi! I’d like to bring my son next Oct 5 for the parol making workshop. Do we need to register? is it near civic center bart? Thanks!

    • kulblogadmin says:

      Hey Lina,

      We’re so glad that you and your son will be joining us for the parol excitement. The Parol Workshops will start a bit late this year. The first one is scheduled for October 19. You don’t need to register in advance. Just show up and jump in. The Bayanihan Community Center is between Civic Center BART at Powell. It’s located at 1010 Mission Street, at 6th Street. Enter on the Mission Street side by ringing the bell at the glass doors.

      Thanks, and enjoy!

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