St. Patrick's Day events
"THE HISTORY OF THE IRISH COFFEE" PRESENTATION
If you're already weary of the beer-overkill this weekend entails, celebrate St. Patrick's with a different type of festive drink — the Irish coffee. The Buena Vista Cafe holds a collection of clippings and photographs that track the beginnings of Irish coffee in San Francisco from as far back as the 1960s. Luckily, the drink is still around to salvage everyone's hangover this weekend. Presented as part of the Crossroads Irish American Festival.
5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., free. California Historical Society, 678 Mission, SF. (415) 357-1848, www.irishamericancrossroads.org
"AMID A SPACE BETWEEN: IRISH ARTISTS IN AMERICA" ART EXHIBIT
This exhibit features six Irish artists living in America who fuse their multifaceted Irish identities and cross-cultural exchanges in to their creative work.
Through April 19. Gallery hours Tues.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., free to members; $18 regular museum admission; $11 for students; half-price admission Thursday evenings. SFMOMA Artist Gallery at Fort Mason, Buchanan at Marina, SF. (415) 441-4777, www.sfmoma.org
IRISH WHISKEY COMPETITION
Bartenders from Txoko, 15 Romolo, Campanula, and Bottle Cap (all fine North Beach establishments) will be whipping up their most innovative cocktail made with Michael Collins Irish whiskey. Celebrate Ireland's fine contribution to the mixology scene, and sample all four concoctions.
6 p.m., $5–$10. Bottle Cap, 1707 Powell, SF. www.bottlecapsf.com
Club Six's new indie rock room gets a rowdy opening concert with this punk group, originally from County Sligo. The Hooks weave traditional Irish rawkus with good old agit-punk — just the way to kick off your week of celebrations.
With The California Celts. 9 p.m.-2 a.m., $5. RKRL, 52 Sixth St., SF. www.clubsix1.com
ST. PATRICK'S NIGHTLIFE
Cal Academy's yearly tribute to the Irish gets grounded by the presence of SF's Érie arbiters, the United Irish Cultural Center (it'll have a booth), and maintains its scientifical presence with step dancing in the Africa room, planetarium shows, and a lecture on the biological significance of the four-leaf clover.
6 p.m.-10 p.m., $12. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse, SF. 1-888-670-4433, www.calacademy.org
CROSSROADS FESTIVAL IRISH AMERICAN WRITING AWARD CEREMONY AND OPEN MIC
Brooklyn writer Kathleen Donohoe already won this year's top honors for her short story, "You Were Forever." But anyone from the Irish diaspora is encouraged to have his or her five minutes of fame during the open mic. RSVP to secure a time slot.
7 p.m.-9p.m., free. University of San Francisco, Fromm Hall, 2130 Fulton, SF. (415) 810-3774, www.irishamericancrossroads.org
PRE-ST. PATRICK'S DAY ALLEYS AND BLOCK PARTY
With thousands predicted to show up at FiDi's annual block party, every nook and cranny will be shamrock-filled at this tavern's fourth annual shindig. Arrive hungry as there will be food trucks, and thirsty as your first beer is free before 6:30 p.m.
5 p.m.-10 p.m., free with RSVP. Taverna Aventine, 582 Washington, SF. (415) 981-1500, www.aventinesf.com
For a staid, grown-people St. Patrick's Day, cruise over to this casino event, sponsored by the California Irish-American Alliance. Why would a group committed to preserving Irish heritage in the Golden State produce a casino night with a partially hosted bar, gambling, and dancing for St. Patty's Day? Because the Californian Irish have a history of having a real good time, that's why.
7 p.m.-midnight, $85. Marines' Memorial Club and Hotel, 609 Sutter, SF. (415) 713-6341, www.shamrockball.com
FARLEY'S COFFEE BIRTHDAY BAGPIPES
The Guardian's staff respirates to the beat of our cups of joe from our neighbor up Potrero Hill, so we are pleased as punch to announce that our fave cafe is turning 23 — and as always, it's having a green-themed birthday party. To whit, live bagpipers will accompany your morning scone and paper. The pipers will play in the morning, other Irish tunes in the afternoon.
7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., free. Farley's, 1315 18th St., SF. (415) 648-1545, www.farleyscoffee.com
ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE AND FESTIVAL
Watch our city turn a shade greener as Irish dance troupes, marching bands, and hundred of floats make their way around West Coast's largest Patty's Day event. Celebrate Irish culture and history in an alcohol-free, yet still fun way — we're talking ponies, mechanical rides, and finger-lickin' Irish food.
Parade: 11:30 a.m., free. Starts at Market and Second Street; Festival: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free.
Civic Center Plaza, SF. (415) 203-1027, www.sresproductions.com
FINANCIAL DISTRICT'S BLOCK PARTY AND LIVE MUSIC
Between this and yesterday's street party, the Financial District has two chances to take off its usual gray suit for a "Kiss Me I'm Irish" tee and a pair of shamrock glasses.
9 a.m.- midnight, free. Irish Bank, 10 Mark, SF. (415) 788-7152, www.theirishbank.com
HABITOT MUSEUM'S SHAMROCK DAY
Getting drunk seems to be the St. Patrick's Day highlight for many in San Francisco, but for kids the high point is usually pinching buddies for not wearing green and finding little emerald men in the clover field. At least at this event. Embrace your inner leprechaun and find gold at the end of the rainbow.
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $9 museum admission. Habitot Children's Museum, 2065 Kittredge, Berk. (510) 647-1111, www.habitot.org
IRISH BRUNCH, BLOCK PARTY, AND LIVE MUSIC
Bands like Blue on Green and the Whelan Academy of Irish Dance will accompany your boxty pancakes and Irish car bombs. Fifth round's the charm, right?
Brunch 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; block party 1 p.m.-11 p.m., $10 for block party. O'Riley's, 622 Green, SF. (415) 989-6222, www.sforileys.com
UNITED IRISH CULTURAL CENTER CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE DINNER
For perhaps the most traditional celebration in San Francisco, head to this Outer Sunset hub of Irish culture. Load up on calories in the dining room with the center's ladies auxiliary-sponsored traditional Irish eats, then work them off to the live Irish bands that'll be keeping it lively.
Dinner seating starts at 3:30 p.m., no reservations necessary. United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Ave., SF. (415) 661-2700, www.irishcentersf.org
In Irish folklore, a great hero was named Cuchulainn — a moniker which translates to "hound of Culann" — after defeating a savage beast in self-defense. This SF-based Irish folk band channels the authentic, legendary spirit in a high-energy, 21st century kind of way.
9 p.m., $20. Slim's, 333 11th St., SF. (415) 255-0333, www.slims-sf.com
QUIN AND THE PAT O'DONNELL BAND LIVE PERFORMANCE
Catch SF-based Celtic folk-indie band (sham)rocking out in this laidback bar of great Guinness and Kilkenny -- the Richmond's got most of SF's best Irish bars, so a cruise in this direction is a great bet this weekend.
9 p.m., $6. The Plough and Stars, 116 Clement, SF. (415) 751-1122, www.theploughandstars.com
ST. PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATION WITH LUCIA COMNES
Comnes takes traditional Irish folk music and layers it with Indian tabla, Turkish rhythms, and Motown grooves. Pair this melodic stew with a $4 pint of Murphy's Irish stout, and get ready for a night of banjos, jigs, and polkas.
9 p.m., $20. Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market, SF. (415) 861-5016, www.cafedunord.com
BOOTIE ST. PATRICK'S DAY
With emcee O'Kingfish setting the mood and wacky blenderized beats served by DJ Tripp and DJ Ajazx, don't think that this is just another regular party looking to cash in on St. Patty's blarney with a few shamrocks stuck on the walls. Burly Q's of Hubba Hubba Revue will be performing a very special Irish-themed burlesque program.
9 p.m.-late night, $10-$20. DNA Lounge, 375 11th St., SF. www.dnalounge.com
PADDY'S DAY WITH THE DOCSTEADY SOUNDSYSTEM
Enjoy $4 Jameson shots and Guinness pints with SF's favorite half Irish-half Filipino sound guy, DJ Doc Fu. He'll be spinning rebel music, fight songs, and hip-hop for your sláinte, along with PK and Cutz on Demand.
10 p.m., free. Showdown, 10 Sixth St., SF. (415) 503-0684, www.showdownsf.com
GREEN FEST BLOCK PARTY
Java Beach's zoo-side location hosts this family-friendly outdoor event, just outside the United Irish Cultural Center. Irish music and dancing is promised, as is face painting for the wee ones, and that most Irish of all traditions: the bouncy castle.
11 a.m.-4 p.m., free. 45th Ave. and Sloat, SF. www.javabeachsf.com