Whether ye want parades, block-party blackouts, or dress-up-your-dog contests, here are this weekend’s best San Francisco Saint Patrick’s Day parties.
San Francisco has one of the nation’s oldest St. Patrick’s Day parades, but you’re probably more interested in the block parties, Irish-themed events, or Guinness-Bailey’s-and-Jameson drink specials with ethnically problematic names. SFist gets your Irish up for this upcoming three-day donnybrook of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations by listing the city’s best parties to rock out with your shamrock out.
It may not be the oldest Saint Patrick’s Day parade in America (St. Augustine, Florida is believed to have had one in 1601), but our venerable parade will still feature over a hundred floats, Irish dance troupes, and bagpipe bands. This year’s parade will be Saturday morning and will snake from Second Street, down Market Street, and ultimately to Civic Center. Do be aware that the official afterparty has been canceled “due to unforeseen circumstances,” but you’ll find a number of suitable replacements below.
Saturday, March 16, 11:30 a.m., beginning at 600 Market Street and ending at Civic Center, Free
They’re ‘Dublin’ up the action with block parties both Saturday and Sunday this year at The Irish Bank, with live music starting at Noon Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (though bar will start serving hours earlier). Both days will feature traditional Irish music and Celtic rock from The Shams, The Quiet Men, and DJ Marc van Brabant, while Saturday also boasts a set by The Watch.
Saturday, March 16, doors at 10 a.m., Sunday, March 17, doors at 11 a.m., 10 Mark Lane, $15
If you prefer party animals of the four-legged variety, this Fort Mason doggie costume contest will have prizes (well, trophies) for the best-dressed dog, as well as some “dog yoga.” All proceeds go to Rocket Dog Rescue.
Sunday, March 17, 1 p.m., 43 Fort Mason 11, $22
Hardcore Harp drinkers will want to know that the first big St. Patrick’s Day block party before Friday Happy Hour (3 p.m.!) and continues until 11 p.m. The event is hosted by the Royal Exchange, and the cover band Pop Rocks will get jiggy with a free live show.
Friday, March 15, 3 p.m., Front Street between California and Sacramento streets, Free
It’s like SantaCon, but greener, leprechaun-ier, and this one goes for three days (yikes). Ticket options differ depending whether you’re doing Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or all three days, but each day’s leprechaun-apparel bar crawling begins at Mayes Oyster House.
Friday, March 15, 6 p.m., Saturday, March 16, 11 a.m., Sunday, March 17, 2 p.m., starting at 1233 Polk Street, $12-25
Deep out in the Avenues near our favorite Irish bars like Durty Nelly’s and the Plough & Stars, the United Irish Cultural Center has a terrific family-friendly block party. This crowd starts their Saturday with 9 a.m. mass at St. Patrick’s Church, which we will probably pass on, but follows it with their very fancy Annual Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner, and Sunday’s outdoor block party that features live music and a bar that opens at 11 a.m.
Saturday, March 16, 3 p.m., Sunday, March 17, 11 a.m., 2700 45th Avenue, Free, but dinner is $20 Saturday and $50 Sunday (Sunday requires reservations)
Sure, there’s a Bootie every Saturday night at DNA Lounge. But this one will crank out the Irish mashups by DJs Tyme, Airsun, and Jimmie G, plus the obligatory live set from Smash-Up Derby. And it’s $10 cover all night if you’re wearing green!
Saturday, March 16, 9 p.m., 375 11th Street, $10 before 10 p.m., $20 after
There’s been no mention of green Jell-O shots this whole listicle, and that’s a shame. But North Beach Irish bar Chief Sullivan’s (which is on Green Street!) is stocking up on gelatin, Guinness, and whiskey for their two-day rager with bagpipers and live music outside, and those magnificent paintings of Irish historical figures inside. As a bonus, they will be opening at 6:30 a.m. Sunday for a proper St. Patrick’s Day.
Saturday, March 16, 8 a.m., Sunday, March 17, 6:30 a.m., 622 Green Street, Free before 2 p.m., $5 after
Your obligatory holiday plate of corned beef and cabbage is complimentary with a drink purchase at SoMa drinkery John Colins. Conveniently situated just a block and a half from the parade route, this should be considered a mandatory Saturday visit, particularly if you’re keen to watch Warriors-Thunder live at 5:30.
Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m., 138 Minna Street, Free with drink purchase
If you’re thirsty for not-overtly Irish live music — but with a generous rack of free St. Patrick’s Day wardrobe accessories — Haight Street’s Milk Bar revives its annual St. Paddy’s Day rock and psychedelic music marathon. Live sets by Crescent Banks, the Angry Abbys, Skip the Needle, Vollmer and High Witness get underway at 6:30, DJ Thndur1 fires up the turntables at 5:30, and the Irish drink specials continue until last call.
Saturday, March 16, 5:30 p.m., 1840 Haight St,, $10
You’ve surely inferred there is no shortage of block parties and alley parties this weekend, and Jackson Square’s Taverna Aventine gets a good early 4 p.m. start on Friday. The free alley party features food trucks, live music, drink specials at two stories of Irish whiskey bar mayhem, and live music all night from DJ Zhaldee.
Friday, March 15, 4 p.m., 582 Washington Street, Free