St. Patrick’s Day in San Francisco Style

Photo courtesy of the Buena Vista Cafe

How will you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? We have some only-in-San-Francisco suggestions.

During the 1850s Gold Rush, it is estimated that almost forty percent of the population of San Francisco was from Ireland. In 1851, the Irish started a tradition that continues today. The largest West Coast event to celebrate Irish history and culture is this year’s 165th St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival in the city.

Here are some images of from the festival a few years ago. Do these clips remind you of something you might have seen in the 1960s?

If you would like to celebrate with a special beverage, then you can thank a San Francisco Chronicle writer for helping the Buena Vista Café create the perfect Irish Coffee. The story goes that columnist Stanton Delaplane drank an Irish Coffee at the Shannon Airport in Ireland. When he returned to San Francisco, he convinced the owner of the Buena Vista Cafe to start experimenting to duplicate the recipe. On November 10, 1952, the two men finally achieved their goal. The photo above is of Mr. Delaplane and his creation in 1975.

Here is a clip showing you how it is done:

The parade and festival is planned for this Saturday, March 12. The parade with more than 100 floats, marching bands and Irish dance troupes starts at 11:30 am at Market and 2nd Street. The festival runs from 9 am to 5 pm at Civic Center.