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Find The Best Family-Friendly Activities In The Bay Area For St. Patrick’s Day
California has over 4 million residents of Irish heritage, with the Bay Area alone home to 1 million Irish descendants. St. Patrick’s Day marks one of the largest mass celebrations of all things Irish, and the Bay Area is host to a number of family-friendly celebrations. This holiday, dress up the family in green and head on out to one of the area’s parades or festivals. Here are five of the best family-friendly ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Civic Center Plaza
355 McAllister St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
www.uissf.orgDate: March 15, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.
One of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around, the annual San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival draws around 100,000 people. 2014 will mark the celebration’s 163 year, and this year’s theme is Giving Back. The massive Irish celebration will include a parade of local cultural groups, labor unions and school and youth organizations. At the festival, enjoy live music, Irish dancers, arts and crafts, and traditional Irish food and drink. For the kids, make sure to check out the pony rides, bouncy houses and petting zoo.
Dublin Civic Center
100 Civic Plaza
Dublin, CA 94568
www.dublinca.govDate: March 15-16, 2014 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Come join in the fun at the 31st annual City of Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The Irish city’s namesake will be holding a number of events over the holiday weekend, ranging from a Saturday morning pancake breakfast and parade to a kid-friendly 5K run and walk where prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. There will be a large Irish Marketplace with over 200 handicrafts vendors selling a plethora of Irish products such as music, tartans, scarves, coats of arms and Celtic jewelry. Don’t forget to check out the international food court that includes not only typical festival fare like kettle corn and funnel cakes, but also a hefty selection of Irish fare like Guinness braised tri-tip, soda bread, and bangers and mash. General admission is free and includes live Celtic rock and folk, bagpipe music, and traditional Irish dancing.
333 Blossom Hill Road
Los Gatos, CA 95032
www.moshanproductions.comgo-green-st-patricks-day-runDate: March 16, 2014 at 8:00 a.m.
Nestled in Los Gatos, scenic Vasona Park will be host to the 5th annual 2014 Go Green St. Patrick’s Day Run. The event includes a 5 and 10K, as well as a half marathon. This frequently sold-out event offers a race t-shirt and goody bag for all participants. The 5K is the best option for kids who would like to run, or for parents with little ones in strollers.
The Ice Cream Bar
815 Cole St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
www.theicecreambarsf.comDate: March 14-17, 2014
An old-school ice cream soda shop, San Francisco’s The Ice Cream Bar serves up house made ice creams with traditional and seasonal flavor selections. It uses all local and organic dairy and produce for its creations. For the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, the restaurant serves up a variety of themed creations ranging from Guinness brown-bread ice cream to corned beef and potato leek soup.
United Irish Cultural Center of San Francisco
2700 45th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94116
www.irishcentersf.orgDate: March 15, 2014
The United Irish Cultural Center of San Francisco has been serving the local Irish-American community for 35 years. The facility has a restaurant and bar, as well as a library, meeting rooms, and catering facility. In addition to hosting a number of annual events, on March 15, the UICC will be having its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, followed by a traditional Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage starting at 6 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m.
Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.