Come celebrate Ireland with the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival. With more than 120 parade entries and thousands in attendance, this has become one of the largest single-day events in San Diego.
We have a Flag Raising ceremony in Balboa Park at 9:45 AM. The Parade steps off at 10:30 AM from Sixth Avenue and Juniper Street, travels north on Fifth Avenue to Upas, then over to Sixth Avenue and South on Sixth to conclude at Juniper Street.
In addition to representatives from Ireland and the reigning Miss Colleen and Smiling Irishman, other parade entries, includes Marching Bands, Floats, the Emerald Societies, Police and Fire Department units, equestrian entries, Border Patrol units, Scout Troops, bagpipe contingents, dancing groups, drill teams, roller skaters, clowns, antique cars and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.
Irish Festival in Balboa Park
The Festival is held in conjunction with the St. Patrick's Day Parade and is for the entire family. Live entertainment on the Festival’s two stages will run from 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM and will include well-known folk singers and groups.
The Festival area will open at 9:00 AM with food and craft booths as well as two beer gardens serving beer, wine and Spirits. There is also an authentic Celtic Village and Kids Zone with rides. The Festival and its entertainment are free to the public.
At the corner of Sixth and Quince, visitors will find a Celtic Village where it is the year 1582, and a troupe of renaissance re-enactors portray the daily drama of the soldiers of House McFionn, explaining their history as they do. Kids and adults alike will be amazed by authentic fighting demonstrations as well as Irish dance, song, crafts, and story-telling.
The Festival also offers an entire Kids Zone full of games, rides, llamas, face-painting, and other fun.
Festival entertainment starts off with a great presentation with the bagpipes and drums of the San Diego Firefighters Emerald Society and the live entertainment continues on two stages with a line-up of outstanding entertainers. Over the years we have had such greats as Brian Baynes; recording artist Tony Cummins, whose pub acts are legendary; Brehon Law, an "in your face" Irish folk rock trio from Carlsbad; the Shamrockers, San Diego's favorite Irish band with a "classic rock problem;" original Celtic-style music from San Diego-based Sheela-na-Gig; Celtic vocal talents Heloise Love & Richard Gordon; Harold and Gabe, and the Rythum Ranchers.
Main Stage Entertainment