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Best Irish Concerts & Festivals In The Bay Area

Civic Center, San Francisco (credit: Randy Yagi)

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner, but this year's popular unofficial holiday and the surrounding events will be particularly special with the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. March 15 has also been declared Proclamation Day, celebrating Ireland's independence from the United Kingdom. Celebrative events related to one of the most important moments in Irish history will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the population possesses a rich history of Irish-American culture.

Irish-American Crossroads Festival
Various venues in Marin County and San Francisco
(415) 810-3774
Dates: March 4- April 3, 2016

The 13th annual Irish-American Crossroads Festival has already begun with several more notable events planned through March and into April. Known as the oldest ongoing festival of its kind in the country, the Irish-American Crossroads Festival is a literary, musical and cultural event to celebrate Irish-American culture. Among the upcoming featured events in Marin County and San Francisco are a "Walking the Rebellion" tour in the Mission District with Elizabeth Creely, traditional Irish acoustic music performed by master fiddler Kevin Burke at Plough & Stars Irish Pub and an afternoon of storytelling at the United Cultural Center. Tickets to upcoming events may be purchased through the official festival website.


St. Patrick's Parade & Festival
Ending in Civic Center Plaza
355 McAllister St.
San Francisco, CA  94103
Date: March 12, 2016

Now in its 165th year, the San Francisco St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival is expected to draw more than 100,000 to the popular annual event.  Hosted by the United Irish Societies of San Francisco, this year's parade theme is "Celebrating the 1916 Rising", also known as the Easter Rebellion, which helped end British rule in Ireland and established the Irish Republic.

The parade will begin approximately at 11:30 a.m. at the corner of 2nd and Market Streets, then proceed down Market Street to the Civic Center, site of the daylong Irish Festival with food, drink and live music.

St. Patrick's Day Celebration
Dublin Civic Center
100 Civic Plaza
Dublin, CA  94568
(925) 833-6650
Dates: March 12-13, 2016

Now in its 33rd year, Dublin's annual celebration is a family-friendly event featuring live Irish music and dance on three separate stages and plenty of great traditional food. Held over two days, the festival will also host more than 250 arts and crafts booths at the Irish Market, an Irish Tea Cottage to enjoy a hot cup of Irish tea and delicious pastries and a carnival area with rides and games suitable for all ages. Other highlights of the festival include the Shamrock 5K Fun Run & Walk, the Firefighter's Pancake Breakfast, the Dublin Sister City Green & White Gala and the Dublin Lions Club St. Patrick's Day Parade.

(credit: Jo Hale/Getty Images)

Sir James Galway
Weil Hall, Sonoma State University
1801 E. Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA  94928
(866) 955-6040
Date: March 18, 2016

Internationally acclaimed as the preeminent performer of classic flute music, Sir James Galway has sold more than 30 million records over his long and illustrious career. Sir Galway received the OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1979 and knighthood in 2001. "The man with the golden flute" will be accompanied by his wife, Lady Jeanne Galway, on flute and Phillip Moll on the piano.

(credit: FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Loreena McKennitt
Person Theater, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
50 Mark West Springs Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 546-3600
Date: March 18, 2016

A two-time Grammy Award nominee and winner of two Junos, the premier music award in Canada, Loreena McKennitt specializes in "eclectic Celtic" music and has sold more than 14 million albums worldwide. She once performed as the featured artist in front of Queen Elizabeth II. The following evening after her performance in Person Theater, Ms. McKennitt is scheduled to appear at the Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco. Both performances are expected to sell out in advance.

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he received a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on

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