St. Patrick’s Day is almost here again and the events are endless. Since the early 1800s, San Francisco has bathed itself in green clothing and pints of Guinness to celebrate this Irish holiday. As with previous years, this weekend boasts celebrations all over the city for three days, Friday to Sunday. For students still looking for things to do or having trouble deciding on an option, here’s a quick guide:
The Royal Exchange in the Financial District is hosting their annual block party at Front and Sacramento streets from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. with Irish food, music and drinks to enjoy. There is usually a to-go window in the middle of the party where beer (mostly Guinness) is served and music begins at 4 p.m.
For a less traditional party, this event takes over Hotaling Alley in North Beach, to host food trucks, three full outdoor bars and a combination of live music and DJs. There will be $5 beer specials throughout the event, which lasts from 4 to 10 p.m.
San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade
Now in its 162nd year, this celebration is not one to miss. This year’s theme is “Honoring the Celtic Woman” featuring San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White as the Grand Marshal. Covered in green, groups throughout the Bay Area Irish community will march down Market Street for the parade before joining the festival where there will be live music, Irish food and drink, dancing and cultural and business exhibitions for all to enjoy. The festival is held at Civic Center Plaza before, during and after the parade, which begins at 2nd and Market streets at 11:30 a.m. The festival runs from 11 to 5 p.m.
GreenFest Block Party
The United Irish Cultural Center is partnering up with Java Beach at the Zoo to host its fifth year of their block party, taking over 45th Avenue (at Sloat Blvd.) for Irish bands, dancing, face painting and more. The family-friendly event runs from 11 to 4 p.m.
For something a little more active, a group will meet at the corner of Parnassus and Willard Streets to hike through Sutro Forest and Golden Gate Park before ending up at a pub in the Richmond District to toast to the Irish and enjoy traditional food and drinks. The event runs from 1 to 3 p.m.
March 16 & 17
Irish Bank Block Party
For two full days starting at 9 a.m., the Irish Bank will host its annual block party at 10 Mark Lane, full of traditional drinks, food and plenty of music. The $10 cover charge is waived when attendees arrive by 4 p.m.
Shamrock St. Patrick’s Weekend Bash
SoMa StrEatfood Park, at 428 11 St., will host Funcheap’s event for two full days starting at 11 a.m. with cheap beer, live music, Irish-themed food truck specials, raffles and giveaways, games and free “goodies” at the entrance. Cover charge is $10 and the first 150 guests will receive free beer tasting.
Luxor Cab will provide free cab rides home from 10 p.m. on March 17 to 4 a.m. on March 18. These rides are limited from bars and restaurants to a residence and not to other drinking locations. (415) 282-4141