Tours

Celebrate Chinese New Year San Francisco-style with “(The) Year of the Rat Pack (age)”

Revelers can enjoy convenient accommodations, cultural/culinary adventures and the largest Chinese New Year parade outside of Asia!

(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) – December 5, 2007 – The Rat Pack is coming to town! No – we’re not talking about Frank, Dean, Sammy and the boys. It’s the Orchard Garden Hotel’s “(The) Year of the Rat Pack (age)” celebrating Chinese New Year and welcoming the Year of the Rat, hosted by celebrated chef and author Shirley Fong-Torres (a.k.a. the Wok Wiz!), February 22-24, 2008. The Orchard Garden Hotel is on the annual Chinese New Year parade route and just steps from San Francisco’s much-photographed Chinatown Gate, making it the perfect place to celebrate.

San Francisco welcomes the Chinese New Year annually with a festive, fun parade, now one of the nation’s few remaining that is night illuminated. Started in the 1860’s by the Chinese as a means to educate the community about their culture, the Parade and Festival have grown to be the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia.

This exclusive two-night weekend package is valid February 22-24, 2008 and includes:

  • Eco-friendly accommodations at the City’s ‘greenest’ boutique hotel just steps from Chinatown’s famous gate
  • Friday night dinner for two at Roots Restaurant, hosted by Shirley Fong-Torres, featuring a special New Year menu created by Roots Executive Chef Russell Rummer
  • Wok Wiz Chinatown Tour for two (including dim sum lunch) on Saturday with Shirley Fong-Torres
  • Two bleacher seat tickets for the 6pm Chinese New Year Parade on 2/23 for a bird’s eye view of the action (optional and non-refundable)
  • Daily breakfast, special in-room amenities, and other festive surprises!

The two-night minimum package is $715, double occupancy, excluding tax and gratuities ($655 without parade seats). To take advantage of “(The) Year of the Rat Pack (age)” visit www.theorchardgardenhotel.com or call toll-free 888/717-2881. The package is based on availability and subject to 14% occupancy tax.

“Rat Pack” guests will enjoy a rare opportunity to meet and dine with chef/author Shirley Fong-Torres on Friday evening at Roots before hitting the historical streets of Chinatown on Saturday morning for a special Wok Wiz Chinatown Tour led by the ‘Wok Wiz’ herself. The specially designed tour will focus on the significance of this extraordinary Lunar New Year as well as the culinary traditions that play such an important part of the two-week celebratory period of Chinese New Year. After a satisfying post-tour dim sum lunch, guests are welcome to enjoy an afternoon of shopping and/or sightseeing before getting ready for the big parade!

About the Orchard Garden Hotel:
The ‘green-from-the-inside-out’ Orchard Garden Hotel, San Francisco’s only LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified hotel, is a sister property to the award-winning and LEED registered Orchard Hotel. Both hotels are located just steps from Union Square shopping and Chinatown while offering the best of the city’s boutique accommodations with a focus on eco-friendly services and amenities. Please visit www.theorchardhotels.com for further details.

About Wok Wiz Shirley Fong-Torres:
Shirley Fong-Torres is the owner of WOK WIZ Chinatown Tours & Cooking Co. and has been walking, talking, eating and feeding locals and visitors since 1986. This former corporate manager (Levi Strauss Operations Manager) and school teacher (high school English and journalism) is the author of four books – her latest aptly titled, The Woman Who Ate Chinatown: a San Francisco Odyssey. Shirley appears on The Food Network, History Channel, Travel Channel, and Discovery Channel. This busy woman is also the face and voice of Hawaiian Airlines, having filmed many in-flight videos on their behalf. She is always happy and enthusiastic on the tours, doing shows, and especially when she is in the loving arms of her two granddaughters – Maggie (4) and Stella (18 mos.). For fun, Shirley explores new and favorite restaurants, shoots pool, drinks fine wine and cold sake (not at the same time). Visit www.wokwiz.com for more information.

About the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade:
Hosted by Emmy winning telecaster Ben Fong-Torres (Shirley’s brother and former Rolling Stone senior editor) the February 23, 2008 Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco is one of the few remaining night illuminated Parades in the country. Started in the 1860’s by the Chinese as a means to educate the community about their culture, the Parade and Festival have grown to be the largest celebration of Asian culture outside of Asia. Since 1958, the parade has been under the direction of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Over 100 units will participate in the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade. For more information please visit http://www.chineseparade.com/parade/about/about.asp.

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