Diarmuid Philpott, the president of the United Irish Societies of San Francisco chats about the 160th St. Patrick’s Festival and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
When do the festivities begin? It starts with the flag raising on March 4 at 10 a.m. at City Hall sponsored by The Crossroads Irish-American Festival that runs from March 4-20.
When is the parade? The parade is on March 12. There will be a Mass at 9 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Church, 756 Mission St., and the parade starts at Second and Market streets at 11:30 a.m. The highlights are the Irish music, marching band and floats in the parade, but festivities go on until 5 p.m.
What is the theme of parade day? “Giving Back.” Many Irish people established churches and parishes in San Francisco, and numerous communities grew up around these.
Why is it important to keep the Irish culture alive in San Francisco? Many Irish citizens came to San Francisco before the Gold Rush of the 1850s; numerous street names are of Irish descent. At one time, about one-third of the people in San Francisco were Irish-born.