The West Coast's largest Irish event celebrating Irish history and culture, the 161st Annual San Francisco St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival, will take place on Saturday, March 17th from 10:00am - 5:00pm in Civic Center Plaza. The Parade is set to begin at 11:30am at the corner of Market and Second Streets where over a hundred colorful floats, Irish dance troupes and marching bands will wind there way to Civic Center Plaza.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival will showcase the San Francisco's Irish community, culture and character in all its forms. In recent years the St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival has grown to attract an estimated 100,000 people. Featured groups from throughout the Bay Area's Irish community include schools, youth organizations, labor unions, cultural groups, as well as the San Francisco Police and Fire Departments. In addition, many local political and business leaders will proudly join in the parade and march up Market Street. This year the Festival will be alcohol free.
Over 4 million Californians are of Irish heritage and the Bay Area is home to about 1 million. This year's theme will highlight the "Past, Present & Future" of Irish influence in San Francisco.
Participants of all ethnicities and backgrounds are encouraged to attend. This unique celebration is reflected in the diversity of the audience and in the vast number of Parade floats and participants. To expand upon the Irish festivities in March there will be additional events and activities presented by The 9th Annual Crossroads Irish-American Festival in San Francisco. For more information on those events please visit http://www.irishameric
Again this year, the Festival will be held at Civic Center Plaza, in front of City Hall. The Festival is full of flair, and offers all in attendance the opportunity to truly experience the Irish culture. This year's Festival features Irish cultural and exhibitor booths, a healthy selection of Irish food and beverages, Irish dancing, live contemporary to traditional music, and a multitude of activities for children such as pony rides, inflatable and mechanical rides and much more.
Sponsors of the 161st Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival include Alice 97.3 Radio, The Irish Herald and Zip Car. Live entertainment on the main stage includes: Those Manning Bhoys (noon to 2 pm); Irish dancing from Bernadette Flynn & Murphy Irish Dancers and Whelan-Kennelly Academy of Irish Dance (2:15 pm to 3 pm); and rockin' Celtic band BlackEyed Dempseys (3 pm to 5 pm). Arts and crafts vendors at the Festival include Cloud Nine Group, Kiss My Licorice, City Bazaar, Fairy Dust Faces, Pelindaba Lavender San Francisco, Inc., Apothecary, Irish Castle Shop, Jerky Hut, Oliver's Almonds, Redel's Roasted Almonds and My Enchanted. This year's food vendors include, Sonoma Teriyaki, Aroma Concessions, Mainstreet Food Concessions, Gourmet Faire, California BBQ, Thai Kebob BBQ, Tante's, Hot & Sizzling Grill, and Peter's Kettle Corn.