SF weekend: St. Patrick's Day fun, SF's largest Holi color fight, Hot Air Music Festival

SF weekend: St. Patrick's Day fun, SF's largest Holi color fight, Hot Air Music Festival
Photo: David Yu Photography/Facebook
By Mike Pinzuti - Published on March 14, 2019.

Get out the green — March 17 is this Sunday. While there's never a shortage of ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the city, we've got a rundown of the biggest highlights for you, plus intel on a Hindu spring festival in the Design District and a celebration of innovative artists and composers in Hayes Valley.

Here are our top picks for getting out in San Francisco over the next few days.

St. Patrick's Day Parade, Parties & Pub Crawls


On Saturday, the city of San Francisco will be rolling out the 168th St. Patrick's Day Parade, the "West Coast’s largest event celebrating Irish history and culture." The parade starts at the corner of Market and 2nd Street and will include bands, dancers, bagpipers and floats, as well as an estimated 100,000 or so onlookers. The end of the line is Civic Center, where there will be food, beer specials, live music and a kid's area with candy and games. 

Of course, the parade isn't the only way to show your Irish spirit this weekend. Hoodline has already covered the best Irish establishments around the city, and there's a quite a few other events:

  • The United Irish Cultural Center has a jam-packed weekend ahead, starting with a corned beef and cabbage dinner on Saturday evening. On Sunday, there's a block party, complete with beer and mimosa booths, music, dancing, face painting and bouncy castles.
  • The Lepra-Con pub crawl returns to the city, with three straight nights of bar-hopping up and down Polk Street. $5-25.  
  • The annual Irish Bank St. Patrick’s Block Party takes over Mark Lane in the FiDi on Saturday, with live music, food, dancing and drink specials. $15. 
  • Chief Sullivan's in North Beach will host its third annual block party on Saturday, with Irish breakfast specials, bagpipes, live music and drink specials. $5.
  • On Sunday, take your favorite four-legged pal to Fort Mason for a St. Patrick’s Day Dog Parade & Costume Contest. The event includes a dog yoga session and a raffle, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Rocket Dog Rescue.
  • The Real Irish Comedy Tour rolls into town with five up-and-coming Irish comedians performing at Cobb's Comedy Club on Sunday evening. $20-30.

One final helpful note: to make sure everyone gets home safe and sound, law firm GJEL is offering reimbursement for cab, Lyft and Uber rides up to $20. The reimbursement is valid for a one-way ride home between March 17 at 5 p.m. and March 18 at 10 a.m. 

Holi 2019


Celebrate Holi, the springtime Hindu festival of colors, with "San Francisco's largest color fight" at the California College of the Arts. Participants can grab handfuls of different colors (made from eco-friendly water-soluble starch and food grade dyes) and smear their face and others' in a celebration of good over evil and the end of winter. To keep the party going, there will be food trucks, DJs, dance performances, and a street fair.

When: Saturday, March 16, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: California College of the Arts, 1111 8th St.
Price: $25, kids under 5 are free

Hot Air Music Festival


This student-run new music marathon, entering its tenth year, features local up-and-coming musicians as well as composers from around the world. Expect a full day of musical sessions spanning from digital progression to "sounds of the old" and guitar quartets. While all sessions are free, food and beverages will be available for purchase and donations are appreciated.

When: Sunday, March 17, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Where: San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak Street
Price: Free, session 4 requires a reservation