San Diego Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day 2011 with Parades, Live Entertainment and Green Beer

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Spring is on its way to San Diego, and as the weather warms, San Diegans and visitors alike come together for a month of festivals, parades and celebrations. San Diego doesn’t waste any time relaxing, and instead moves quickly from exciting Mardi Gras events, to a fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Be ready to put away your beads and break out the green and gold, because it’s time to celebrate Celtic style!

Saturday, March 12 marks an eventful day in Balboa Park, which will be packed with two stages of live entertainment, Irish cuisine and beverages, and of course the annual St. Patty’s Day Parade. Admission is free to the public, and gates open at 9 a.m. Get there early so you won’t miss the ceremonial flag raising which kick things off at 10 a.m. Just thirty minutes later the crowd will have moved to Fifth Avenue and Juniper Street where the parade takes its first steps. Revel in the sights and sounds of marching bands, floats, police and fire department units, dancing groups, bagpipe contingents, antique cars and more as the parade makes its way through the park.

The festivities will be in full swing by 11 a.m. with two beer gardens serving ice-cold Guinness, along with other beer, wine and spirits. Patrons can satisfy their cravings with a wide variety of authentic Celtic food and enjoy booths filled with traditional Irish crafts. And don’t forget about the little ones who are sure to enjoy the Kid Zone where they can partake in games, rides, face painting and more.

If a little history is what you seek, head over to the Celtic Village for the opportunity to step back into the year 1582! A troupe of renaissance re-enactors will be on hand to portray the daily drama of the soldiers of House McFionn. Relish in authentic fighting demonstrations, Irish dance, song, crafts and story telling.

If you think you’ve seen everything San Diego has to offer on this famed Irish holiday, think again! The following week, on March 17, the historic Gaslamp District hosts ShamROCK: the best St. Patty’s Day block party on the West coast! Pack your bags and head to the beach for a week of celebrations and all the green beer you can drink.

Let the Ocean Park Inn handle your accommodations and put you up in one of our contemporary-style rooms overlooking beautiful Pacific Beach. Take some time to relax and unwind by our ocean front pool as you prepare yourself for one of the biggest celebrations to hit San Diego all year!