8 Places to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in San Francisco
By: Johnny Funcheap
This story is brought to you by the great people over at the Funcheap. Funcheap is an events discovery website for San Francisco. We hand pick the best free & affordable things to do in our unique city.
Other than the Giants’ World Series victory celebrations, there’s one day a year when San Franciscans seem to love to take to the streets and celebrate more than any other – and that’s St. Patrick’s Day.
Unfortunately in 2014, there is no big festival at Civic Center, but that doesn’t mean the partying in the streets has stopped.
All weekend long, there’s fun Irish-themed block parties, parades, festivals and other literal ways the city is turning green.
Here’s a list of some of the biggest and most fun ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2014 from Funcheap.
One of the largest Irish cultural events on the west coast, Market Street gets taken over by 100+ colorful floats, Irish dance troupes and marching bands during this annual cultural parade. Make sure to come up with your own after-parade plans this year as there’s no post-parade festival at Civic Center for 2014.
Begins on the corner of Market and 2nd Street and runs to Civic Center | March 15th at 11:30 AM | Free Admission
Every year, city hall turns its lights green at nighttime in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a great photo opportunity for you to capture San Francisco at its most Irish (or when it’s most filled with envy… whatever you think the “green” color implies). A free official St. Patrick’s Day kick off event with an Irish flag raising over city hall and Irish dance performance takes place with Mayor Ed Lee on Friday, March 7, 2014 at 11:30am.
San Francisco City Hall, Civic Center | Nightly, March 7-17, 2014 | Free Admission
Perhaps the wildest St. Patrick’s Day block party in San Francisco, Royal Exchange closes down Front Street and traditionally brings in super fun cover band Wonderbread5 to rock the crowd until late into the night. Expect large crowds and Guinness served through to-go windows situated right in the middle of the party.
Sacramento and Front Streets, Financial District| March 17, 3 PM | Free Admission
This may be the most “Irish” of any of the block parties, even the street is named “Green.” O’Reilly’s Irish Pub shuts down Green Street on Saturday and Monday for two full days of bagpipers, Irish dancers and an excellent full lineup of traditional Irish music, Celtic rock and even a U2 tribute band. Soak up the Guinness with Corned Beef and Cabbage or Fish and Chips, or wait until morning to cure any hangover with an Irish Breakfast.
Green Street between Columbus and Powell, North Beach | March 15 & 17 | $10
Although there’s not much “Irish” about Taverna Aventine, the alley next door on Hotaling, in the shadow of the Transamerica Building, packs them in on the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day for their 6th annual block party. Expect over 1,000 people wearing green (and big smiles) bumping and grooving to DJs under the stars with three outdoor bars and a food truck.
Hotaling Street (btwn Washington/ Jackson & Montgomery/Sansome), Financial District | March 14, 4 PM | Free Admission
This traditional Irish bar & restaurant crams a lot into its one tiny alleyway. At noon, there’s live old Irish ballads from The Shams. On Saturday at 3pm, hear fiercely politically Irish rebel reggae from Bog Savages, and then DJs carry you on through the night. On Sunday they rest, but in case you missed anything, they dream it all up again on Monday with another block party featuring the exact same lineup on St. Patrick’s Day proper.
Mark Lane at Bush Street, Financial District | March 15 & 17, Noon | $10
Chow down at a big three-day St. Patrick’s Day weekend outdoor party presented by Funcheap with cheap Guinness, green beer, free green beads, and live music. Expect 8-10 different food trucks each day, all serving up creative Irish-inspired delights like Corned beef sandwiches, green eggs & ham, or unusual Guinness-marinated dishes.
SoMa StrEat Food Park, 428 11th Street, SoMa | March 15 - 17 | $10
The United Irish Cultural Center of San Francisco (UICC) and the United Irish Societies team up to throw a special Sunday block party with Irish bands and Irish dancing. Since there’s no “festival” at Civic Center after the parade this year, the Irish Center’s block party is probably the most “official” Irish place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The UICC also hosts free live Irish music on Saturday from 3pm to midnight and 12 hours of music on Monday from 11am to 11pm.
45th Avenue at Sloat, Outer Sunset | March 16 | Free
Photo by David Yu.
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