St. Paddy's Day events, from the cultural to the convivial (including the big parade this weekend)
IRISH Public service announcement: you do not need to get drunk on St. Patrick's Day. This year there are a gamut of cultural activities that will teach you more about paddie heritage than finding the bottom of yet another Irish car bomb. But drink yourself green if you must — in this country, an argument could be made that the day has become a celebration of alcoholic pride more than anything. Just please, for the love of corned beef and cabbage — try to limit your use of novelty T-shirts.
ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE AND FESTIVAL
The big potato kicks off St. Paddy's season this year and will honor upstanding Irish folks from around the city.
Sat/12. Parade: 11:30 a.m., free. Starts at Market and Second; Festival: 10 a.m.–5 p.m., free. Civic Center Plaza, SF. 1-800-310-6563, www.sresproductions.com
ST. PATRICK'S DAY FITNESS CRAWL
Stage a preemptive strike against all the Guinness you'll be drinking at this affordable fitness boot camp.
Sat/12 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m., $10. Third Street Boxing Gym, 2576 Third St., SF. (415) 550-8269, www.thirdstreetgym.com
"IRISH CALIFORNIA: AN EVENING WITH THE CALIFORNIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTION"
Snack on Irish bites and booze while perusing the Historical Society's stockpile of Irish American ephemera — photos, pamphlets, and more from the Golden State's green past.
Wed/16 5:30–7:30 p.m., $4 suggested donation, free to members. RSVP recommended. The California Historical Society, 678 Mission, SF. (415) 357-1848, www.californiahistoricalsociety.com
ST. PADDY'S PUNK BASH XI
The leprechaun rager returns for its 11th year in action, featuring the Undead Boys, Street Justice, Crosstops, Ruleta Rusa, and Face the Rail.
Weds/16 8 p.m., $8. Elbo Room, 647 Valencia, SF. (415) 552-7788, www.elbo.com
FARLEY'S 22ND BIRTHDAY
The Guardian staff's fave cafe around the corner celebrates multiple decades of well-roasted independent business awesomeness with live bagpipers in the daytime and a concert in the evening.
Thurs/17 bagpipes 9 a.m.–1 p.m.; concert 8 p.m., free. Farley's, 1315 18th St., SF. (415) 648-1545, www.farleyscoffee.com
O'REILLY'S ST. PATTY'S BLOCK PARTY
Between this and the Royal Exchange block party (see below) you'll be well — if not over — served on "Kiss Me I'm Irish" tees, green face paint, and Bailey'swhiskeycarbombGuinness blackout glory. Pad your stomach before you get too deep in the drinkin' with O'Reilly's classic Irish brunch foods.
Thurs/17 Serving brunch 9 a.m.–1:30 p.m.; black party 3 p.m., free. O'Reilly's, 622 Green, SF. (415) 989-6222, www.sforeillys.com
HABITOT MUSEUM'S SHAMROCK DAY
Make potato prints, drink green punch, and decorate your own pair of shamrock glasses with your little leprechaun at the family learning museum.
Thurs/17 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., $9 museum admission. Habitot Children's Museum, 2065 Kittredge, Berk. (510) 647-1111, www.habitot.org
PARKSIDE TAVERN IRISH LUNCH
Traditional fixin's abound on this Sunset pub's special Irish menu — corned beef and a little Irish stew to go with your Jameson?