Where’s the largest Irish Event west of the Mississippi?

Irish Eyes Are Smiling in San Francisco

San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival is the largest Irish event west of the Mississippi, which certainly merits a sip of Irish coffee or a romp through the Oxalis (which is a fancy word for shamrocks).

“Giving Back” is the theme for the 160th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival. The parade is one of a series of events which commenced on March 4 with the raising of the Irish flat at City Hall and extend through March 25, 2011.

On Saturday, March 12, the St. Patrick’s Day parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. from Second and Market streets; more than 100 floats, Irish dance groups, marching bands and thousands of participants will make their way down Market to the reviewing stand at Civic Center Plaza. For information visit www.sfstpatricksdayparade.com.

They’ll be representing more than one million Irish descendents in the Bay Area and some four million statewide. Grand Marshals Maureen and Mike Moriarty are being honored for their contributions to the Irish community.

 

The festival in Civic Center Plaza on March 12, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., will include Irish cultural and retail booths; a “healthy” selection of Irish food and beverages; Irish dancing; live music; children’s activities such as pony rides, and a number of community enterprises. For information visit www.sresproductions.com.

The eighth annual Crossroads Irish-American Festival, through March 25, will feature literature and oral history. The 21-day festival includes 11 events. Among the highlights are a walking tour illuminating the history of San Francisco’s famed waterfront  with an emphasis on Irish-American workers on March 19, and a concert by Patrick Ball, one of the world’s premiere Celtic harp players and a captivating spoken word artist, at St. Patrick’s Church, 756 Mission St., on March 25. St. Patrick’s Church is celebrating its 160th anniversary in 2011. There will be additional events for the anniversary celebration; for details visit www.spcsf.org. Complete details on all Crossroads events are available at www.irishamericancrossroads.org.

Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike or take public transit to all events. For regional transit information, telephone 510-893-8729, call 511 within the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties or visit www.511.org. For information on public transit within San Francisco, telephone 311 or visit www.sfmta.org.

Looking for some additional green gladness for March? Visit www.sanfrancisco.travel or check out some of these suggestions:

March 12 and 17

Ride the Ducks San Francisco and Classic Cable Car Sightseeing, www.sanfranciscoducks.com or www.classiccablecar.com

Wear green and each of these sightseeing firms will give riders $5 off each ticket purchased; not valid with any other offers.

March 17, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

Wipeout Bar & Grill

Pier 39, www.wipeoutbarandgrill.com

Wipeout will be offering corned beef sandwiches all day.

March 17, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

390 Capistrano Road, Princeton-by-the-Sea, www.hmbbrewingco.com

An Irish-themed menu offered all day; evening entertainment from 7-10 p.m. features Claddagh with Shana Morrison, Kevin Brennan and Grant Walters.

 

March 17, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m.

Pied Piper Bar & Grill

2 New Montgomery St., www.sfpalace.com

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in one of San Francisco’s most famous bars and enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day special —  a delicious corned beef sandwich and a Guinness for $20.

March 17, 6-9:45 p.m. at SFMOMA, cocktails at XYZ Lounge until 1:30 a.m.

How Wine Became Modern Featuring Pop-Up Magazine, www.sfmoma.org and www.wsanfrancisco.com

California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park, www.calacademy.org/events/nightlife/

This St. Patrick’s Day sip on a whiskey cocktail or a dark, frothy Guinness, and take in a bit of Irish culture at the greenest museum on Earth, the California Academy of Sciences.  Cast in an ethereal green light, NightLife will feature Irish step dancing, and performances on the Celtic harp and nyckelharpa, a lyrical instrument with 16 strings and 37 keys that has been around for more than 600 years. Music by DJ Nako.

Thanks to San Francisco Travel

Join the more than 300,000 people who follow SF Travel on Facebook at www.facebook.com/onlyinsf. Follow “OnlyinSF” on Twitter at http://twitter.com/onlyinsf.

 

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About Marybeth Bond

Marybeth Bond is the nation’s preeminent expert on women travel. She is the award-winning
author-editor of 11 books.

Marybeth has hiked, cycled, climbed, dived and kayaked her way through more than seventy countries around the world.

She was a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Marybeth has appeared on CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, National Public Radio and National Geographic Weekend.


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