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St. Patrick's Day in San Francisco

Wear Green and Bring Your Dancing Shoes.......

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St. Patrick's Day in San Francisco

Market Street is transformed into a wild street party every St. Patrick's Day.

Image Courtesy of Sam Soneja
No other city on the west coast throws a proper St. Patrick's Day the way San Francisco does - even Bostoners and New Yorkers will be impressed by the city's massive St. Paddy's day bash. A city institution since the mid 19th century, the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival has its roots in the early Irish communities that settled in the city. Saint Patrick's Day is now a massive local festival, and visitors are welcomed with open arms and plenty of libations.

San Francisco's St. Patrick's Day Festival 2013

2013 marks the 162nd anniversary of Saint Patrick's Day celebration in the city of San Francisco and this year the festivities are in honor of "The Celtic Woman".

The festival takes place on Saturday March 16th in the Civic Center plaza right in front of San Francisco's City Hall.

Stages are set up at several different corners with live bands and speakers throughout the day. Food booths are plentiful as are drink stands, many of which will be pouring San Franciscan and other California micro-brews and wine.

A family friendly event, the San Francisco Saint Patrick's Day Festival usually has a variety of children's areas as well, which are free of alcoholic beverages.

San Francisco's Saint Patrick's Day Parade

Featuring giant floats, local celebrities and politicians and traditional Irish dancers and musicians, the Saint Patrick's Day Parade begins at 11:30am the same day as the festival. Starting in the financial district, the parade makes its way up Market Street to join the Saint Patrick's Day festival already in progress. Bleachers are usually erected in front of City Hall but these fill up fast and should be grabbed early.

Saint Patrick's Day Parties in San Francisco

For most San Franciscans, and the lucky visitors who decided to come to the city by the bay in off-season March, the Saint Patrick's Day festival and parade are just the appetizers for a weekend spent in revelry.

Each and every one of the city's many Irish Pubs will be throwing Saint Patrick's Day parties, drop in and you are guaranteed a romping good time.

Over in North Beach, the annual block Party outside of O'Reillys on Green Street is surefire way to rub shoulders with the locals while down in the Union Square area most bars and clubs are also throwing a St. Paddy's Day Bash.

There are also usually tons of live music events on St. Patrick's Day weekend, check out the current issue of the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the lineup.

The Crossroads Irish American Festival

This two-month long celebration of Irish-American culture runs in the background of the St. Patrick's day festival and parade is is often overlooked by visitors. But the action-packed cultural festival offers everything from traditional Celtic dance and music performances to documentary film screenings. The weekend of the St. Patrick's Day Festival and Parade in San Francisco, Crossroads kicks it into high gear with live music performances at locations all over the city, including the San Francisco Main Branch Public Library, check the official website for full details.
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