Feelin' Irish? St. Paddy’s parties start early 

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t until Saturday, but you might want to dig out your green garb today, as many of The City’s bars and restaurants are beginning the festivities early. Read on to find out where they are ...

The Royal Exchange Bar and Restaurant is holding its annual street party from 3:30 to 9 p.m. today, when Front Street from California to Sacramento streets is closed to traffic for a concert with the San Francisco-based band, Wonder Bread 5.

The Irish Bank on Mark Lane near Bush Street will serve traditional Irish food during lunch today, as well.

There will be plenty of ways to catch up Saturday. The 155th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade hosted by the United Irish Societies will kickoff at 11:30 a.m. at the corner of Second and Market streets.

More than 5,000 groups, including schools, dance troupes and bands, will participate in the parade, which is expected to attract about 100,000 people this year, said Coralie Rogez, a parade promoter with the Larose Group.

The parade will march down Market Street, turn onto McAllister Street, then south down Polk Street before ending at City Hall.

In coordination with the parade, stage performances will be held throughout the day, by such acts as Avalon Rising, Culann’s Hounds and Shana Morrison, Jim Morrison’s daughter.

The St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Civic Center Plaza at Grove and Larkin streets. Live performances, food and arts and crafts will be showcased.

Also on Saturday, Townsend Street from Second to Third streets will be closed to traffic from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the live concert at O’Neills Irish Pub.

For more information, visit www.sfstpatricksdayparade.com.

Where to go:

The Irish Bank

10 Mark Lane (alley on Bush Street)

» The two-day party begins at 6 a.m. today with a live broadcast of the Alice Morning Show. Food will be served until 3 p.m., and a DJ will start at 6 p.m. On Saturday, there will be traditional music and a menu of corn beef and cabbage until 3 p.m. and a DJ again at 6 p.m.

Royal Exchange Restaurant and Bar

301 Sacramento St.

» Live music from 5 to 8:30 p.m. today, featuring Wonder Bread 5 outside on Front Street, which will be closed from 3:30 to 9 p.m. from California to Sacramento streets.

The Chieftain Irish Pub and Restaurant

198 Fifth St.

» Two days of live music with the Rogues begins today at 4 p.m. The music starts again at 2 p.m. Saturday with traditional Irish dancers and a bagpiper.

O’Neills Irish Pub

747 Third St.

» Live music with the Collin John Band Saturday on Townsend Street between Second and Third streets, which will be closed from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will also be Irish dancers and bagpipers.

Harrington’s Bar & Grill

245 Front St.

» Live music starts at 3 p.m. Saturday, featuring the Ben Hunter and Celtic Scandal with Andrew McNamara. The Kennelly Irish Dancers will also perform.

Ireland’s 32

3920 Geary Blvd.

» Live music will start at 3 p.m. Saturday and includes Sean Hannon, a Thin Lizzy cover band and Plasterkatz.

Johnny Foley’s Irish House

243 O’Farrell St.

» Live music at 9 p.m. Saturday, featuring Suite Love Express.

arocha@examiner.com

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