Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in San Francisco in grand style. Saturday, March 16 (the day before St. Patrick’s Day) the 162nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day parade kicks off a day full of activities. The parade begins at 11:30, rain or shine. It begins on the corner of Market and Second Street, and proceeds along Market to Civic Center Plaza.
Participating in the parade are members of the Irish community from throughout the Bay area including schools, youth organizations, labor unions, cultural groups along with local politicians and members of the SF Police and SF Fire Departments.
The St. Patrick’s Festival is free to everyone, and runs from 11:00-5:00 at the Civic Center Plaza, on Grove Street, Polk to Larkin Street. Live music will be provided by the Gas Men and the Hooks. The Theme of this year’s festival is “Honoring Celtic Woman”, reason enough to attend this festive occasion. The festival features live performances and entertainment, arts and crafts, exhibitions, and food and beverage concessions. Children can enjoy the rides and inflatables, the petting zoo, cultural displays and a pony ride. A number of non-profit booths will be set up representing the Irish community.
Another event honoring and celebrating Irish culture is the Crossroads Irish Festival that runs from March 9-April 26, 2013.Featuring oral and video history, story telling, dance, music, and other cultural events, and of course, a writing contest. The Crossroads Irish Festival is celebrating its 10th year this year. For more information on the festival, visit their website.
To further enhance your St. Patrick’s Day experience, you might enjoy reading one of the following books to your children and grandchildren:
Hey, My Name is Buckles by Mark Josephs and Bryon Johnson
Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk by Gerald McDermott
The Leprechaun’s Gold by Pamela Duncan Edwards
That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting
O’Sullivan Stew by Hudson Talbott
St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting
For older children or for reading aloud:
Brave Margaret: An Irish Adventure by Robert San Souci
Fiona’s Luck by Teresa Bateman and Kelly Murphy
This is Ireland by M. Sasek
Both the parade and the festival are free and open to the public. Come on out and enjoy celebrating Irish culture and heritage, and honoring the Celtic women of our community. Whatever you do to celebrate Irish culture and history and your own Irish heritage, enjoy some singing, dancing, and dreaming aloud, and celebrate with a happy heart. Erin go braugh!