San Francisco’s long-running St. Patrick’s Day celebration is making a comeback

A long-running St. Patrick’s Day celebration in San Francisco has picked up in full force for the first time in two years due to the pandemic.

Organizers said it’s a gathering that draws people, especially families, from across the Bay Area.

At the United Irish Cultural Center, there’s an extra bounce in the step of the dancers in this first full-fledged St. Patrick’s Day celebration since 2020.

“It’s something that I really enjoy. So for me to pass it on to people, it’s really exciting and cool that I can do,” said Claire Donohue, 16, an Irish dancer.

Passion and pride in their Irish heritage in the sea of ​​green made up of people of all ages.

“It’s a great day to celebrate our heritage. All the things that Irish immigrants have overcome to get here, how successful we have been,” said Jeanine Donohue.

Hundreds of people came to the center for this day-long celebration. The traditional dish of corned beef and cabbage was served.

Fret and Fiddle, a mix of Irish and Scottish musicians, played traditional music.

Organizers said the center started holding a St. Patrick’s Day celebration here 47 years ago in 1975.

“Today is the day to be Irish for sure. I feel like everyone is Irish today,” said Ryan Hicks, an Irish-American.

Some people have expressed reluctance to meet with so many people. But in the end, the need to celebrate prevailed.

“You can be outside depending on how you want to celebrate,” Whitney Hicks said, “We’re all set to continue celebrating our culture, our lives, celebrating being here.”

Dance and music are an integral part of this celebration.

SEE ALSO: St. Patrick’s Day crowd returns to Starry Plow in Berkeley

“It goes back generations. They really go together. It always brings crowds, families together,” said Eileen Mize, member and volunteer at the United Irish Cultural Center.

This day was about people coming together. Many said it was their first time with family and friends after two years apart.

Amber Lee is a reporter at KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave a message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU or Twitter @AmberKTVU

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