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St. Patrick’s Day Events in California: Your Ultimate Guide for Festive Celebrations

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Every year on March 17th, California comes alive with a tapestry of green as communities across the state celebrate St. Patrick's Day. This vibrant holiday honors Irish culture and heritage with a variety of festivities that have become much-anticipated events on the Golden State's social calendar.

St. Patrick's Day Events in California: Your Ultimate Guide for Festive Celebrations

If you're eager to don your best green attire and partake in the festivities, there's no shortage of St. Patrick's Day events in California where you can immerse yourself in the celebratory spirit. From grand parades to lively street festivals, these events bring together people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy Irish-themed entertainment, traditional foods, and of course, plenty of green-tinted cheer.

Whether you choose to join the excitement of the St. Patrick's Day Festival in Dublin, CA, or opt for the high-energy atmosphere of Casey's St. Patrick's Day Street Festival in Los Angeles, you're in for an authentic and memorable celebration. The festivities highlight the best of Irish culture while making a positive impact on the community, often through economic benefits and post-event cleanup efforts, ensuring the merriment is enjoyed responsibly.

St. Patrick's Day Events in California: Your Ultimate Guide for Festive Celebrations

The History of St. Patrick's Day in California

St. Patrick's Day, a cultural and religious celebration held annually on March 17th, recognizes the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. Your exploration of this holiday in California reveals a rich tapestry of Irish-American heritage woven into the state's diverse cultural fabric.

During the 19th century, as the Irish emigrated to escape famine and seek new opportunities, many found their way to California. They brought with them their traditions and customs, including the celebration of St. Patrick's Day. The influence of Irish culture grew as the population of Irish immigrants and their descendants expanded in the Golden State.

Major Cities and Celebrations:
California's major cities have historic ties to Irish-American communities, playing host to some of the most vibrant St. Patrick's Day parades and festivities in the nation. In San Francisco, a city with a sizable Irish population, your St. Patrick's Day might include a grand parade, cultural events, and traditional music echoing through its streets.

  • San Francisco: Historic parades date back to the early 1850s.
  • Los Angeles: Irish pubs and cultural events pepper the cityscape each March.
  • Sacramento: The capital's celebration often features a parade and a festival.

The connection between California and Irish culture becomes especially evident as you witness the sea of green clothing, symbols of Ireland, and sounds of celebration each year. Irish-American organizations within the state also serve as cultural stewards, ensuring the continuity of customs and community engagement.

Whether you're participating in the festivities in the Bay Area, as referenced in the 7 things you need to know about St. Patrick's Day in the Bay Area, or enjoying a more laid-back celebration in a smaller town, California offers a glimpse into the enduring legacy of St. Patrick's Day and its importance to the Irish-American community.

St. Patrick's Day Events in California: Your Ultimate Guide for Festive Celebrations

Iconic St. Patrick's Day Parades

California celebrates St. Patrick's Day with vibrant parades that embody the spirit of the Irish. You'll find cities from north to south donning green and hosting events that attract thousands of participants and spectators. These parades feature a mix of traditional Irish dancers, bagpipers, and festive floats.

San Francisco's Annual Parade

Date: Mid-March
Route: Typically starts at 2nd and Market Streets, proceeding to Civic Center

San Francisco's Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade is one of the longest-running in the city's history. You can expect to witness a spectacular procession that highlights the rich Irish-American heritage. Bands, dancers, and cultural organizations make their way down the bustling streets, showcasing traditional and modern celebrations.

Los Angeles's St. Patrick's Day Parade

Date: March 17
Location: Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles puts on an impressive St. Patrick's Day Parade with a lively atmosphere that captures the city's diverse spirit. The parade route in Downtown L.A. becomes a bedazzled scene of green, as floats, marching bands, and entertainers parade past cheering crowds. The event is not just a parade; it's a fusion of cultures paying homage to Irish traditions.

San Diego Parade and Festivities

Date: Mid-March
Location: Fifth Avenue and Laurel Street

In San Diego, the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festivities are a feast for the senses. Floats and performers line up along the Parade Route in the city's historic Balboa Park area. After the parade, you're welcomed to enjoy the rest of the day at the Irish Festival, where food, crafts, and entertainment keep the celebration going.

Irish Pub and Bar Celebrations

For those seeking a festive St. Patrick's Day, California offers an array of Irish pubs and bars with authentic experiences, special drinks, and live music. Whether you're in the mood for a traditional pint of green beer or a more contemporary celebration, these venues provide a spirited backdrop for your holiday revelry.

Irish Pubs Offering Traditional Experiences

In the heart of the Fairfax District, Molly Malone's stands out as an Irish pub with a storied history permeated by live music and an authentic vibe. Beyond just serving up pints, this iconic spot is akin to an institution, revered for its robust selection of whiskey and soulful tunes that set the stage for an unforgettable St. Patrick's Day.

For a taste of tradition, consider visiting an establishment such as the low-key Irish neighborhood pub in Burbank. It boasts elements of a classic Irish Pub, shelves lined with whiskey, and is the perfect spot to enjoy a casual St. Patrick's Day with a sense of community and historical charm.

Popular Bars with St. Patrick's Day Specials

If your St. Patrick's Day is incomplete without green beer on tap, Dog Haus in Claremont is at your service from morning till night. Here, you can immerse yourself in the celebration with $6 Jameson shots and $7 Pickle Back shots in a vibrant setting.

For those who crave a dynamic scene, the bustling bars and pubs in Los Angeles curate a specialized St. Patrick’s Day experience. Engage in the festivities at popular spots across the city where live music and beer garden camaraderie blend seamlessly with copious drink specials, ensuring your holiday is as exciting as it is memorable.

St. Patrick's Day Events in California: Your Ultimate Guide for Festive Celebrations

Festivals and Community Events

March in California comes alive with a variety of St. Patrick's Day events, where you can embrace Irish culture through music, games, and family fun. Offering a spectrum of activities tailored to all ages, these festivities are perfect for a memorable experience rich with tradition.

Family Friendly Festivities

At the heart of St. Patrick's Day, celebrations are events designed for the whole family. In Downtown Visalia, for instance, you can enjoy a day at the Visalia Recreation Park amidst local breweries, live music, and interactive yard games. If your family enjoys a dash of competition, the San Jose Shamrock Run and the Leprechaun Chase offer a playful way to participate in the holiday spirit.

Many festivals also feature special kids zones with activities like face painting and games. For example, at Murphys Irish Day, a historic celebration taking place in the picturesque Sierra Nevada foothills, children and adults alike can revel in a day filled with entertainment and vendors.

Food and Cultural Festivals

For culinary enthusiasts, these events are a prime opportunity to savor traditional Irish dishes. Food festivals often boast an array of options, from corned beef and cabbage to freshly baked soda bread. Cultural festivals may showcase Irish dance performances and offer craft booths where you can purchase handmade items.

The Hermosa Beach St. Patrick's Day parade is a prime example of a local celebration that combines a festive atmosphere with cultural appreciation, drawing thousands of spectators yearly. Similarly, the Irish Fest provides a platform for you to immerse yourself in the heritage with diverse activities spanning music, art, and dance.

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Culinary Delights: Irish Food and Drinks

Indulge in the rich tapestry of flavors that Irish cuisine has to offer this St. Patrick's Day. Your palate is in for a treat with time-honored dishes and brews that infuse Irish tradition into the California food scene.

Staple Irish Dishes to Try

  • Corned Beef and Cabbage: This hearty dish is a St. Patrick's Day essential. You'll find versions slowly braised to perfection, pairing salty corned beef with succulent cabbage at local Irish pubs and restaurants.
  • Soda Bread: Enjoy the simplicity of freshly-baked Irish Soda Bread, where buttermilk and baking soda come together to form a tender, slightly tangy loaf. It's often served alongside main courses or enjoyed with a smear of rich Irish butter.

Specialty Irish Drinks and Breweries

  • Irish Coffee: Warm up with a mug of invigorating Irish Coffee. The combination of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and a layer of cream isn't just a beverage; it's a comforting experience to savor.
  • Craft Breweries: For beer enthusiasts, California's breweries often craft St. Patrick's themed ales and stouts. Keep an eye out for local taprooms offering specialty Irish drinks that pay homage to the classic tastes of Ireland.
St. Patrick's Day Events in California: Your Ultimate Guide for Festive Celebrations

Music and Dance

St. Patrick's Day celebrations in California are a vibrant exhibition of both music and dance. You'll experience everything from lively bands blasting Irish tunes to the intricate footwork of traditional Irish dance.

Live Bands and Musical Performances

San Francisco and San Diego are notable for their impressive live music scenes during St. Patrick's Day. The San Francisco St. Patrick's Day Festival includes a lineup of musical acts that provide non-stop entertainment throughout the day. Expect a blend of Irish music and contemporary beats, with live bands setting the stage for an unforgettable ambiance.

In San Diego, specifically during the Shamrock celebration, multiple stages feature ongoing music. Whether you’re there for the traditional tunes of a bagpiper or the modern mixes from a DJ, your ears are in for a treat.

Traditional and Contemporary Irish Dance

As for dance, Irish dancers often steal the show. You'll see both traditional and contemporary Irish dance performances, where dancers in vibrant costumes and rhythmic shoes turn the streets into a dynamic stage. At events like the San Diego's St. Patrick's Day Parade, the mix of dancers ranges from local dance schools showing off centuries-old steps to modern interpretations meant to get your feet tapping.

To add to the authenticity, you might also catch a glimpse of a leprechaun character mingling with the crowd, often near dance performance areas, bringing an extra touch of Irish folklore to life right before your eyes.

Arts and Entertainment

Irish Art Exhibits

You'll find the Dublin Civic Center transformed into an enclave of Irish creativity, featuring an array of art inspired by Irish heritage. Revel in the detailed works where artists might incorporate the shamrock, using its bold green hues and symbolic significance to deliver pieces that resonate deeply with traditional Irish customs.

Theatrical Performances and Readings

If live entertainment is what you seek, be ready to enjoy a lineup of brilliant acts at various venues. The Real Irish Comedy Fest brings together a cadre of Ireland's finest comedians, such as Sean Finnerty and Martin Angolo, to deliver side-splitting humor that's sure to leave you in high spirits.

For more scripted entertainment, Lafayette's Town Hall Theatre features staged readings reflecting Irish culture and storytelling prowess. These performances provide a platfrom for powerful tales that may transport you to the bustling streets of Dublin or the tranquil fields of the countryside.

The Field, with its theatre-style setting, plays host to an array of performances that celebrate Ireland's vast contribution to the arts, from riveting plays to captivating readings. The atmosphere is charged with enthusiasm, drawing you into the heart of stories spun with the magic of Irish lore.

Children's Activities and Fun

Family Activities and Games

Your family can look forward to an exciting schedule of family-friendly activities that will make your St. Patrick's Day festive and memorable. In Anaheim, the Anaheim GardenWalk transforms into a haven for families on this special day with over 30 vendors, live music, a kids craft table, and activities that will keep everyone entertained.

  • Scavenger Hunt: Kids can participate in themed scavenger hunts, which are a delightful way for the whole family to explore and work together.
  • Faeries, Or Out The Other Side: Join the faerie folk in an enchanted storytelling session that captures the imagination of the young and the young at heart.

Educational Events for Kids

St. Patrick's Day isn't just for play; it's also an opportunity for educational growth. Interactive and engaging events designed for children can make learning about the holiday and its traditions an enjoyable experience.

  • Balboa Park: At San Diego's Balboa Park, your kids can dive into Irish culture with historical exhibits and storytelling sessions.
  • St. Patrick's Day Fest: Several educational fests feature enjoyable learning experiences where kids can understand the significance of St. Patrick's Day while engaging in fun crafts and activities.
St. Patrick's Day Events in California: Your Ultimate Guide for Festive Celebrations

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Local Business Promotions

Promotional Events and St. Patrick’s Day Sales

In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, businesses across California are engaging customers with vibrant promotional events and exclusive themed products that capture the spirit of this festive holiday.

Many local businesses and Irish pubs throughout California are hosting promotional events where you can enjoy traditional Irish music and live entertainment. Expect special menus and drinks at places like the Irish Tea Cottage, where the atmosphere comes alive with the sound of fiddles and joyous celebration. Additionally, establishments in downtown areas are preparing for St. Patrick's Day with sales that feature unique items and discounts dedicated to the holiday.

For example:

  • Dublin, CA: Aiding in celebrations, several vendors are offering discounts on Irish goods and apparel during the Dublin St. Patrick's Day Celebration.

St. Patrick’s Day Themed Products

Businesses across the state are not missing the opportunity to showcase a range of St. Patrick’s Day themed products. Whether it's green attire with Celtic designs or limited-edition Jameson whiskey releases, there's an abundance of festive merchandise for you to enjoy.

You'll find:

  • Specialty Foods and Drinks: From green bagels to shamrock-shaped treats, get ready to savor unique takes on traditional Irish fare.
  • Breweries and Bars: Look out for local breweries presenting St. Patrick’s Day specials with a selection of green and Irish-flavored beers.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day allows you to experience the Irish culture while supporting local businesses that bring innovative promotions and products to enhance your festive enjoyment.

Daylong Itineraries

California offers a wealth of opportunities to immerse yourself in the St. Patrick's Day spirit with events that celebrate Irish culture in lively ways. From parades to cultural festivals, here’s how you can enjoy a full day of festivities in two iconic locations.

San Francisco's St. Patrick's Day Itinerary

Your day in San Francisco begins with the famed St. Patrick's Day Parade, which sets off from the corner of Second and Market, rain or shine. Expect to be dazzled by more than 100 colorful floats, Irish dance troupes, and marching bands that bring Market Street to life. After the parade, make your way to the United Irish Cultural Center to enjoy authentic Irish food and vibrant cultural activities that continue into the evening.


  • 10:00 AM: Attend the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Market Street.
  • 11:30 AM: Explore the cultural booths and enjoy Irish delicacies.


  • 1:00 PM: Participate in post-parade festivities at Civic Center Plaza.
  • 3:00 PM: Visit the United Irish Cultural Center for continued celebrations.


  • 6:00 PM: Join the block party and enjoy live music and dancing.

Dublin, California's Day of Celebration

Dublin, a city that prides itself on its Irish namesake, throws a three-day party you won't want to miss. Kicking off on St. Patrick’s Day, festivities span the weekend with a multitude of events ranging from a festive parade to a St. Patrick’s Day Party that's perfect for all ages. Local vendors, Irish music, and a pop-up Irish tea cottage are just some of the highlights at the Dublin Civic Center.


  • 9:30 AM: Arrive early to enjoy a traditional Irish breakfast at a local café.
  • 10:00 AM: Watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade with participants clad in green.


  • 12:00 PM: Indulge in authentic Irish food and drinks at the Civic Center.
  • 2:00 PM: Browse through 200-plus vendor booths and engage in family-friendly activities.


  • 5:00 PM: Partake in an evening block party with live entertainment and a festive atmosphere.
St. Patrick's Day Events in California: Your Ultimate Guide for Festive Celebrations

Practical Information

When planning to attend St. Patrick's Day events in California, consider transportation options and safety protocols, as well as checking event schedules and ticketing requirements in advance.

Transportation and Safety Tips

For Southern California events, including the large Los Angeles St. Patrick's Day Parade, you can rely on public transportation like the Metro to avoid parking hassles. Visit Metro Los Angeles for schedules and fare information. Ride-sharing services are abundant but expect surge pricing around event times.

For your safety, always travel in groups if possible, stay aware of your surroundings, and never drink and drive. Local police increase patrols during holidays, emphasizing road safety and community well-being.

Event Schedules and Ticketing

Event times range across the state. The Ventura St. Patrick's Day Parade, for example, typically occurs during daylight hours. Check Ventura's parade website for specific times. Meanwhile, the St. Patrick's Day Dandelion Days Celebration in Jackson spans two days — visit their official site for detailed scheduling.

Tickets for events like the ones at San Pedro Square or specific activities in Long Beach or Sacramento might require advance purchase. Always verify whether an event is free or ticketed to plan accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you'll find answers to the most common questions about St. Patrick's Day events throughout California, including parades, festivals, and family-friendly activities.

What are the top St. Patrick's Day events happening in California this year?

California boasts various St. Patrick's Day celebrations, such as San Diego's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Irish Festival in Balboa Park and Dublin's St. Patrick's Day Celebration, featuring multiple days of Irish music and cultural exhibits.

How can I find St. Patrick's Day parades or festivals happening in California today?

To discover today's St. Patrick's Day events, you can visit local event listings or check California St. Patrick's Day festivalwebsites. These resources frequently update to provide you with the latest information on parades and festivals.

What are some family-friendly activities for St. Patrick's Day in California?

Family-friendly festivities include the St. Patrick's Fun Fest in Los Alamitos, featuring a themed street market, and numerous community parades that offer a mix of entertainment suitable for all ages.

Which locations in California are hosting cultural events for St. Patrick's Day?

Cultural events can be found across the state, including the Ventura St. Patrick's Day Parade and the three-day celebration in Dublin, California, where the community's Irish heritage is celebrated with food, music, and dance.

Are there any notable Irish music or dance performances in California for St. Patrick's Day?

Notable performances include Irish music bands and dance troupes that take part in various events, such as the parades and festivals in major Californian cities. Keep an eye on local event calendars for specific performance details.

What are some must-attend St. Patrick's Day parties or pub crawls in California?

Some of the must-attend events for those looking to enjoy the convivial atmosphere of St. Patrick's Day include the Newport Luck Of The Irish St Patrick's Day Weekend Bar Crawl and pub crawls organized in various cities, which feature special offers and celebrate Irish heritage.