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Everything you need to know about San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Block party, routes, street closures, and everything you need to know before the big day

St. Patrick’s Day Parade San Francisco Photo by Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz/Shuttertstock

While not nearly the bacchanalia it is in New York City or Boston, San Francisco does have its own annual St. Patrick’s Day traditions. And it’s always smart to get prepared for the festivities. After all, in addition to paying homage to Irish heritage, it’s also known as a holiday for rampant imbibing.

First, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will celebrate its 168th year on Saturday March 16, featuring floats, bands, cable cars, music, politicians, and more. Thousands of people will converge on Market Street to celebrate the annual Irish heritage holiday.

Also, the Irish Bank St Patrick’s Day Parade Block Party will go down near Union Square. It’s quite the scene, not for kids, so be sure to replenish your fluids before taking part in the festivities.

And, yes, Muni reroutes and street closures will happen. Here’s all you need to know:

When is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade?

The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 16.

What is the parade route?

Starts at 2nd Street and Market and ends at Civic Center Plaza where the festival is held.

Who is in the parade?

Mayor London Breed will lead the parade as Grand Marshal.

When and where is the official festival?

Festival happens from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Civic Center Plaza, where the parade ends. Safe for the entire family.

What about the Irish Bank St. Patrick’s Day Parade Block Party?

That’s happening too! This is the party for adults, 21 and over. Doors open at 9 a.m., festivities begin at noon. Entry costs $10 at the door. Takes place at Harlan Street between Mark Lane and Grant. Expect live music, dancing, drinking, drinking, and more drinking. The block party happens Saturday and Sunday.

Which streets will be closed during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade?

Market Street between First Street and Van Ness Avenue will be closed starting during the day. There will be no cross traffic along Market Street during the parade, though it should finish by 4 p.m.

What about getting around downtown that day?

We’ll keep you posted as the big day gets closer, and you can also check the SF MTA’s app for updates. For sure, the following Muni lines, which run along of through Market Street, will be affected by the parade on Saturday:

Street closures

Grove Street between Polk and Larkin streets will be closed from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday as part of the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Civic Center Plaza.

Market Street between First Street and Van Ness Avenue will be closed to traffic beginning at 11 a.m. There will be no cross traffic along Market Street during the parade which should end by 4 p.m. Streets will reopen as the marchers pass and the streets are cleaned. The reviewing stand will be on Carlton B. Goodlett Place.


The following Muni lines and routes will be affected by the parade as early as 9 a.m.:

  • F Market
  • 2 Clement
  • 5 Fulton
  • 6 Parnassus
  • 7 Haight/Noriega
  • 8 Bayshore Express
  • 9 San Bruno
  • 10 Townsend
  • 12 Folsom Pacific
  • 19 Polk
  • 21 Hayes
  • 27 Bryant
  • 30 Stockton
  • 31 Balboa
  • 38 Geary
  • 38R Geary Rapid
  • 45 Union-Stockton

Here’s a reroute map:

Map via SFMTA

How should I get to the parade?

Take Muni and/or BART. Or walk. If you can help it, do not drive. Vehicular traffic will be a nightmare, more so than usual. But if you do, please note that, according to SF MTA, “to ensure traffic flows on Mission, Howard, Folsom, Harrison, Bryant and Brannan Streets, cross traffic will be allowed along the staging area of Second Street until the parade begins. Traffic along these streets will resume as soon as the parade units pass.”

How can I get to Civic Center?

The best way to get to Civic Center is via underground Muni. Also, according to SFMTA, the 30/45 SoMa shuttle will operate in a loop between the Caltrain station and Mission Street until the parade is over.

Free cab ride or Uber/Lyft home

You can get a free cab ride or Uber/Lyft home care of law firm GJEL Accident Attorneys who are once again sponsoring its “Drink and Alive Free Cab Program” program. The firm will reimburse you for your ride up to $20.