Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day In San Diego 2024 ☘️

Saint Patrick’s Day, a cultural and religious celebration held on the 17th of March, is a day of festivity that has transcended the borders of Ireland and found its way into the hearts of people worldwide.

This day, which marks the death of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland, is now celebrated with much enthusiasm across the globe, and San Diego, California is no exception.

San Diego, known for its vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes, offers a unique blend of Irish traditions and Californian charm during the Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations.

The city comes alive with parades, festivals, and events that not only honor Irish heritage but also bring together people of all backgrounds in a grand celebration of unity and community spirit.

The History of Saint Patrick’s Day in San Diego

San Diego’s celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day has a rich history that adds depth to the festivities. The city’s first Saint Patrick’s Day Parade took place in 1980, and since then, it has grown into one of the largest events of its kind in Southern California. The parade showcases the city’s diverse community, with participants ranging from high school marching bands to Irish societies.

Saint Patrick’s Day Events Time and Location in San Diego in 2024:

St. Patrick’s Day Parade & FestivalBalboa Park 6th And Laurel, San Diego, CA, 92101March 16, 20249 a.m. to 6 p.m.
San Diego Leprechaun RunDowntown Pacific Beach, San DiegoMarch 16, 2024TBA
IRISH 4 A DAY – St. Paddy’s Day Party HopGaslamp’s top 20 bars, San DiegoMarch 15 – 17, 2024TBA
San Diego shamROCKGaslamp Quarter, San DiegoMarch 16, 2024TBA
Luck O’ Loma St. Patrick’s Day Block PartyLoma, San DiegoMarch 17, 2024TBA
Leprechauns & Live Music at Seaport VillageSeaport Village, San DiegoMarch 17, 2024TBA

The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

Every year, the streets of San Diego are painted green as the city hosts its annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade features a variety of floats, bands, and groups marching down the streets, creating a lively and festive atmosphere. Spectators can expect to see traditional Irish dancers, bagpipers, and even a few leprechauns!

The Irish Festival

Following the parade, the Irish Festival takes place in Balboa Park. The festival offers a taste of Irish culture with live music, traditional Irish food and drinks, craft booths, and a Celtic village. The festival is a family-friendly event with activities for kids, making it a perfect outing for the whole family.

San Diego’s Irish Pubs

No Saint Patrick’s Day celebration would be complete without a visit to an Irish pub, and San Diego has plenty to offer. These pubs serve traditional Irish food and drinks, and many host live music events featuring Irish tunes. Some of the city’s most popular Irish pubs include:

  • The Field Irish Pub: Located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, The Field is a genuine Irish pub imported from Ireland. Here, you can enjoy traditional Irish fare, a wide selection of beers and whiskeys, and live music in an authentic 19th-century setting.
  • O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub: This pub in Carlsbad offers a cozy atmosphere, traditional Irish food, and live music. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the Irish spirit.
  • Hooley’s Irish Pub and Grill: With locations in Rancho San Diego and La Mesa, Hooley’s is known for its corned beef tacos, a unique blend of Irish and Californian cuisine. The pub also offers a wide range of beers and hosts live music events.

Traditional Irish Food and Drinks

Saint Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to savor traditional Irish food and drinks. From hearty stews and corned beef to Guinness and Irish whiskey, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Many restaurants and pubs in San Diego offer special menus for the occasion, featuring dishes like Shepherd’s Pie, Irish Soda Bread, and of course, the iconic Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Saint Patrick’s Day Events and Festivals

San Diego hosts a variety of events and festivals to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Here are some of the highlights:

  • ShamROCK: Every year, the Gaslamp Quarter transforms into the largest Saint Patrick’s Day block party in San Diego. ShamROCK features live music on multiple stages, Irish food and drinks, and plenty of green décor. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to experience Saint Patrick’s Day in true San Diego style.
  • St. Patrick’s Day 10K Run: For those looking to add a bit of fitness to their festivities, the St. Patrick’s Day 10K Run is a popular event. Participants often dress in green and enjoy a scenic run along Mission Bay.
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival: As mentioned earlier, this is one of the largest events of its kind in Southern California. The parade is followed by a festival in Balboa Park, featuring live entertainment, food, craft booths, and a kids zone.

Celebrating at Home

For those who prefer a quieter celebration, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day at home. You could cook a traditional Irish meal, watch a parade or festival online, or even host a virtual Saint Patrick’s Day party with friends and family.

Irish Music and Dance

Music and dance are integral parts of Irish culture and Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations. San Diego offers numerous opportunities to enjoy traditional Irish music and dance:

  • Live Music: Many pubs and venues in San Diego host live music events featuring Irish tunes. From lively jigs to soulful ballads, these performances add a touch of authenticity to the celebrations.
  • Irish Dance Performances: Several Irish dance schools in San Diego showcase their talent during Saint Patrick’s Day. These performances, featuring traditional Irish step dancing, are a treat to watch.
  • Join a Ceilidh: A Ceilidh is a traditional Irish social gathering involving music and often dance. Some Irish pubs and community centers in San Diego host Ceilidhs where you can join in the fun.

Exploring Irish History and Heritage

San Diego has a rich Irish heritage, and Saint Patrick’s Day is a great time to explore it:

  • Irish Cultural Center: The Irish Cultural Center in San Diego offers a wealth of information about Irish history and culture. They often host special events for Saint Patrick’s Day.
  • House of Ireland: Located in Balboa Park, the House of Ireland is part of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. It showcases Irish culture and heritage and hosts open houses on Sundays.

Family-Friendly Activities

Saint Patrick’s Day in San Diego is a family-friendly affair with plenty of activities for kids:

  • Kids Zone at the Irish Festival: The Irish Festival in Balboa Park features a Kids Zone with fun activities like face painting, games, and crafts.
  • Family-Friendly Pubs: Some Irish pubs in San Diego are family-friendly and offer special menus for kids on Saint Patrick’s Day.
  • Community Events: Many communities in San Diego host family-friendly events for Saint Patrick’s Day, including crafts, games, and parades.

Greening of San Diego

In the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day, several landmarks in San Diego are lit up in green. This “greening” of the city adds to the festive atmosphere and offers some great photo opportunities.

Giving Back

Saint Patrick’s Day is also a time for giving back to the community. Many events and festivals associated with Saint Patrick’s Day support local charities. Participating in these events is a great way to celebrate while also contributing to a good cause.

Saint Patrick’s Day Attire

One of the most fun aspects of Saint Patrick’s Day is the tradition of wearing green. In San Diego, locals and visitors alike embrace this tradition with enthusiasm:

  • Wearing Green: From green hats and shirts to green accessories, you’ll see a sea of green in San Diego on Saint Patrick’s Day. Some people even go the extra mile with green face paint or dyed hair!
  • Saint Patrick’s Day Accessories: Many stores in San Diego sell Saint Patrick’s Day accessories like shamrock-shaped sunglasses, leprechaun hats, and green beads. These accessories add a festive touch to any outfit.

Saint Patrick’s Day Souvenirs

If you’re visiting San Diego for Saint Patrick’s Day, don’t forget to pick up a souvenir to remember the occasion:

  • Irish Crafts: The Irish Festival in Balboa Park features craft booths where you can buy handmade Irish crafts.
  • Saint Patrick’s Day Merchandise: Many stores in San Diego sell Saint Patrick’s Day merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, and keychains.


Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day in San Diego, California, is an experience like no other. The city’s vibrant culture, rich Irish heritage, and diverse community come together to create a celebration that is both traditional and uniquely San Diegan. From the lively parade and festival in Balboa Park to the authentic Irish pubs and the various family-friendly activities, there’s something for everyone.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, wearing green or just there to enjoy the festivities, Saint Patrick’s Day in San Diego is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. So, mark your calendar for the 17th of March, and get ready to embrace the Irish spirit in the heart of California!


What is the date of Saint Patrick’s Day?

Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on the 17th of March.

Where can I celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in San Diego?

There are numerous places to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in San Diego, including the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival in Balboa Park, various Irish pubs, and community events.

What should I wear for Saint Patrick’s Day in San Diego?

It’s traditional to wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day. Many people also wear Saint Patrick’s Day accessories like shamrock-shaped sunglasses and leprechaun hats.