EVENTS Diarmuid Philpott, chairman of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and president of the Irish United Societies, knows a thing or two about SF’s glorious Irish heritage, the holiday’s significant religious and cultural roots, and of course, where the party is for the upcoming week. “First of all, it’s a celebration of being Irish,” Philpott explains. “Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. And they are welcome to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!” So don that emerald green, and buckle down for a hooley of a time.
“GETTING THE JOB DONE: IRISH CITIZENS AND A LIFETIME OF CIVIL SERVICE”
What have the Irish ever done for you? Learn about their contributions to our city at this panel discussion, featuring local paddies from the public and private sectors and moderated by Tony Bucher of the Irish Herald. The event is part of the Irish Crossroads Festival, which celebrates the intersection of roots and modernity in Irish culture today.
Thur/11, 7 p.m., free
United Irish Cultural Center
2700 45th Ave. , SF
159TH ANNUAL ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE AND FESTIVAL
The largest celebration of Emerald Isle culture west of the Mississippi is taking over downtown this weekend — and you want in on the dancin’, pipin’ action. Afterward, head to the Civic Center street festival, featuring vendors, activities, a beer garden and Irish gypsy jazz group, the Doug Martin Avatar Ensemble.
Parade: Sat/13, 11:30 a.m. , free
Starts at 2nd St. and Harrison, SF
Festival: Sat/13 and Sun/14, 11 a m.-5 p.m., free
Civic Center Plaza, SF
ST. PATRICK’S DAY BLOCK PARTY
For a family-oriented celebration, jet down to the United Irish Cultural Center, which will be co-hosting this al fresco event with Java Beach. There’ll be food, drink, games for the kids, jumpy castles — and a zoo across the street if you really want to make a wee one’s day.
Sun/14, 11 a .m.- 4 p.m., free
45th Ave. (between Sloat and Wawona), SF
HARRINGTON’S BLOCK PARTY
Sure, we’re a city that doesn’t lack for a superlative Irish pub in which to celebrate St. Patty’s — Durty Nelly’s, the Plough and Stars, and the Chieftain come to mind — but Harrington’s joins with neighborhood businesses for a celebration right in the FiDi of it all, closing down the block for performances by Ben Hunter and Celtic Scandal, the Kennelly Irish dancers and big, steaming plates of corn beef and cabbage.
Wed/17, 11 a m-1 a m., free
245 Front, SF
Get a load of the reggae-laced tones of these Irish rebel rockers, who’ve got the street cred to back it up. Frontman Kevin Barry escaped from Belfast’s Long Kesh prison in the IRA’s 1983 “Great Escape.” They rock.
Wed/17, 8:30 p.m., free
1353 Grant, SF
FATHER YORKE DAY
A salute to a real hero. Father Yorke was a 19th century Irish revolutionary and labor activist. His service takes place each year here at All Saint’s — a sober end to a holiday season that can be anything but.
Sun/28, 10:30 p.m., free
All Saints’ Chapel Holy Cross Cemetery
1500 Mission, Colma
And though the Guinness be full of vitamin D and goodness, take ‘er easy — the real Irish celebrate responsibly. Berg Injury Lawyers are sponsoring the same free cab rides home on St. Patty’s that they do on New Year’s. Call Luxor Cabs at (415) 282-4141 for a lift in the city, or Veterans Cab at (415) 282-4141 for Oakland, Alameda, or Berkeley .