166th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade
We told you about the Mardi Gras events, so now it is only reasonable that we move on to the next day of drinking and good cheer heralded across the country: St. Patrick’s Day! In many ways, St. Patrick’s day is the true harbinger of spring, which is why so many people let themselves go, dress absurdly, and turn their personal volume knobs way, way up as they meander through the streets wearing emerald green and sporting shamrocks in their top hats.
San Francisco, it should come as no surprise, knows well the joys of St. Patrick’s day, and to prove this they put on the single largest event along the West Coast to celebrate Irish culture and history. Unbelievably, this year marks the 166th anniversary of San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival. Drawing crowds over over 100,000, and filling the city with wonderful music, food, and merchandise, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival is a one-of-a-kind treat for those who have Irish heritage, like Irish heritage, or just enjoy drinking green beer.
The day begins early(ish) at 10:00 in the morning, when the festival officially opens the doors of the Civic Center Plaza for the first of the days celebrators. Featuring plenty of live music by acts such as The Irish News Boys, The Jerry Hannan Band, and the Crooked Road Ceili Band, the festival will feature booths where you can by plenty of handcrafted goods and original pieces of art, brush up on your Irish history at one of the many educational booths and exhibits, and gorge yourself with delicious bites at some of the Bay Area’s most well known food carts. The party really gets kicked off at 11:30, when the official parade begins at 2nd Street and Market. Anyone is welcome to participate along the parade route, although if you decide to march you are highly encouraged to dress the part.
Who knows where you might find yourself by the end of the day! What is certain is that you will come away from this memorable occasion knowing that you were an active participant in a tradition that is almost 200 years old .