The West Coast’s largest Irish event celebrating Irish history and culture, the 162nd Annual San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival, will take place on Saturday, March 16th at 11:30am. The Parade will start at the corner of Market and Second Streets where over a hundred colorful floats, Irish dance troupes and marching bands will wind their way to Civic Center Plaza for the St Patrick’s Day Festival. Building on the success of the last several years, the organizers of the Parade are expecting another memorable event.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival will showcase San Francisco’s Irish community, culture and character in all its forms. In recent years the St. Patrick’s Day Parade has regained its status as one of the biggest parades in our State. Featured groups from throughout the Bay Area’s Irish community include schools, youth organizations, labor unions, cultural groups, as well as the San Francisco Fire and Police Departments. In addition, many of our local political leaders proudly march up Market Street.

 The United Irish Societies is pleased to announce Joanne Hayes-White, San Francisco Fire Department Chief, as the Parade Grand Marshal. “Joanne, a native San Franciscan was a natural choice to help us recognize and celebrate the women in our Irish society here in the Bay Area,” said Diarmuid Philpott, President of the United Irish Societies which presents the annual Parade. “The SFFD is one of the largest urban fire department in the world to have a woman in charge and we are excited to have Joanne help us lead our Parade this year,” continued Philpott.

 Over 4 million Californians are of Irish heritage and the Bay Area is home to about 1 million. “The Irish have always been a great part of our wonderful City, and we are rightly proud of our many contributions to the fabric of life here” commented Philpott. 

“This year’s theme pays a special tribute to the role that Celtic Women have played and the contributions they have made in all areas of civic life and culture here in the Bay Area.”

Again this year, the Festival will be held at Civic Center Plaza, in front of City Hall.  The Festival is full of flair, and offers all in attendance the opportunity to truly experience Irish culture. This year’s Festival features cultural and exhibitor booths, a healthy selection of Irish food and beverages, Irish dancing, live music, both contemporary and traditional. Exhibitors and Sponsors include: The Irish Herald, The United Irish Societies of San Francisco, Guinness, Bushmills, BART and more.

 The San Francisco Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is a great day out for everyone, Irish or otherwise. It is a time to celebrate and participate in the City’s Irish culture. So mark your calendars for March 16 and celebrate with us. The Parade starts at 11:30am on the corner of Market and Second Street. For more information please visit  or find us on Facebook.