Benjamin Eastman

San Diego St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

It’s that time of year again where San Diego’s Irish community celebrates in true kilt-wearing, bagpipe blaring, whiskey drinking camaraderie! San Diego St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are scattered throughout the region and there is no shortage of green beer! So whether you’re out to celebrate your heritage or just be Irish-for-the-day (we won’t tell!), get out there, do a jig and keep an eye out for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Harrah’s Resort Southern California

For those looking to celebrate a little early, Harrah’s Resort Southern California will be partying “Clover The Top” all weekend long with a number of events including their Neon Nights Lazy River Party, River Dancers & Fiddlers and a performance by The Fighting Jamesons – not to mention loads of specials in the casino, restaurants and bars!
Location: 777 Harrah’s Resort Southern California Way; Valley Center, CA 92082
When: March 15-17, 2014


We couldn’t forget the Gaslamp Quarter‘s major Block Party SHAMROCK!  In it’s 19th year of helping San Diegans celebrate all things Emerald Isle, 20,000 revelers will swarm the streets of downtown drinking Jameson Irish whiskey specials, green beer and rocking out at one of the 3 main stages of performers.
Location:  Gaslamp Quarter
Time:  4:00pm – 12:00am
Cost:  Starting at $30


Music lovers will want to head to Hooleyfest in La Mesa for an evening of performances by Tony Cummins, Jukebox and Lexington Field. This Guiness sponsored event is raved about every year for its memorable performances. And since San Diegans love our tacos, why not try one of Hooley’s famous corned beef tacos while you’re there?
Location:  Tents at Grossmont Center in La Mesa
Date:  March 17, 2014
Time:  5:00pm – 12:00am
Cost:  $25 at the door

Want to celebrate, but not excited about the crowds and big events? San Diego has plenty of great hole-in-the wall Irish Pubs that will welcome you with open arms, such as Dublin Square, Stout Public House, Gallaghers and O’Sullivans.

How will you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in San Diego? Let us know in the comments.

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – March 14-17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Festival in Balboa Park

The combination of warm weather and great events this week will surely make your friends green with envy. Here are our top things to do this weekend in San Diego:

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day Festival in Balboa Park

Sunshine kisses the Irish and Irish for a day in San Diego

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly event or a wild party, St. Patrick’s Day in San Diego has you covered:

> St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun in San Diego – 2013
St. Patrick’s Day Parties – 2013

Science on the Rocks: Pizza, Pinot and Pi!

Science on the Rocks: Pizza, Pinot and Pi! - Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Join us to celebrate Pi Day (3.14) and Einstein’s birthday with exclusive access to tasty tidbits, engaging entertainment, and inspired interaction. Pen a Pi-Ku and add a link to our Pi Chain. Sample assorted pies and see which pizza has pizzazz. Explore the power of pi(e)s of all kinds! Science on the Rocks is an after-hours party for adults 21 and older.

Where: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center – 1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: March 14, 2013
Time: 6:30 to 9:30 PM
Cost: $18-$25
> Find out more about Science on the Rocks: Pizza, Pinot and Pi!

San Diego Epic Beer Festival

San Diego Epic Beer Festival

Bring your friends and support a charity while enjoying San Diego craft beer

The Inaugural Epic Beer Festival – San Diego will feature 80+ craft breweries and over 200 beers to sample. Even better, your admission benefits Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, a California-based non-profit that transforms the lives of disadvantaged children and young people with physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse or disease through the gift of reconstructive surgery and related medical care.

Where: San Diego Convention Center – 111 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When: March 15-16, 2013
Times: Three Sessions
– Friday: 7:00 to 10:00 PM
– Saturday: 1:00 to 4:00 PM and 7:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $40. Designated Driver – $15
> Find out more about the San Diego Epic Beer Festival

Golf Fest

Golf Fest San Diego

Test out the newest in Golf technology at Golf Fest

If you’re a golfer looking for great deals, then Golf Fest is your one stop shop! TaylorMade, Cleveland/Srixon, PING, Cobra, Nike, Wilson, Yonex, Adams and more will be at Golf Fest introducing their new products.

Where: Oaks North Golf Course – 12602 Oaks North Drive, San Diego, CA 92123
When: March 15-16, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: $10
> Find out more about Golf Fest

Balboa Park Science Family Day

Balboa Park Science Family Day - Paper Airplane Festival

Learn how to make a paper airplane and more at the Balboa Park Science Family Day

Families will discover how much fun science can be at Balboa Park’s annual Science Family Day. Kicking off the weeklong San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering 2013, various museums and cultural institutions will offer science-related hands-on activities and special programs for kids of all ages.

Where: Balboa Park
When: March 16, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
– Some activities are free
– Participating museums – Children 12 and under free with paid adult admission
> Find out more about Balboa Park Science Family Day

Butterfly Jungle

Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Meet a few of the over 10,000 butterflies in the Butterfly Jungle

Each spring the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Hidden Jungle exhibit is filled with over 10,000 amazing and delightful exotic butterflies of all colors and sizes, and guests can walk among them, take photos, and enjoy pointing out different species using a butterfly identification guide. There’s something for everyone, from fun kids’ activities to special presentations to fascinating facts about these wonderful winged insects.

Where: San Diego Zoo Safari Park – 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027
When: March 16-April 7, 2013
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Film Screening: Andy Warhol’s San Diego Surf

San Diego Surf by Andy Warhol

See the never before seen Andy Warhol’s “San Diego Surf.” Image courtesy of the Andy Warhol Museum.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see one of the last films in which Warhol had direct involvement. San Diego Surf was filmed in La Jolla in May of 1968. Filmed in color on 16mm with two cameras, manned by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey, the film features superstars Viva, Taylor Mead, Louis Waldon, Joe Dallesandro, Tom Hompertz, Ingrid Superstar, Eric Emerson, Nawana Davis, and others. Its loose narrative concerns an unhappily married couple with a baby who rent their beach house to a group of surfers.

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego – La Jolla – 700 Prospect St. La Jolla, CA 92037
When: March 16, 2013
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Cost: $5-$8. Members are free.
> Find out more about the Film Screening: Andy Warhol’s San Diego Surf

Latino Film Festival


San Diego’s proximity to Mexico makes it a natural venue for this prestigious 11-day film festival, now celebrating its 20th year, focusing on works by Latinos or about the Latino experience. More than 160 films and videos from across Latin America and the United States will be screened with many of the directors and actors in attendance.

Where: UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center – 7510 Hazard Center Dr, San Diego, CA 92108
When: Through March 17, 2013
Cost: Varies
> Find out more about the San Diego Latino Film Festival

> Browse more top things to do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Know of some other top things to do this weekend? Let everyone know in the comments below.


St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun in San Diego – 2013

Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Balboa Park
Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Balboa Park

Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Balboa Park

Ready for a little Irish reveling on St. Patrick’s Day? Luckily, you don’t have to set sail to Ireland to celebrate because the luck of the Irish can be found right here in San Diego. Spend the day basking in San Diego’s glorious sunshine and make some memories with your loved ones at one of these local outdoor family-friendly events.

San Diego St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish Festival


Irish Festival

Dress the family in green and head out to the Irish Festival in Balboa Park. Held in conjunction with a grand St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the festival has something for the entire family including Irish faire, craft booths and live entertainment for you to clap, dance and sing-a-long with on two stages running. Kids can play in the Kids Zone complete with games, rides, llamas, face-painting and other fun. You can also step back in time at a Celtic Village where the year is 1582. A troupe of renaissance re-enactors will entertain you while portraying the daily drama of the soldiers of the House McFionn. Kids and adults alike will be amazed by authentic fighting demonstrations, as well as Irish dancing, songs and story-telling.


This annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will have more than 120 entries including marching bands, decorated floats, bagpipe contingents, the reigning Miss Colleen, the Smiling Irishman and much more. Get there early for best viewing of this popular, colorful parade.

Where: Parade – 5th & 6th Avenues, between Juniper and Upas
Date: March 16, 2013
Festival – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Parade starts at 10:30 AM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish Festival

St. Patrick’s Day 10K Run, 4 & 2 Mile Fun Run

St. Patrick's Day 10K Run

“May the road rise to meet you” at this 33rd annual run/walk event in Mission Bay Park. The best Irish-themed running costume will be recognized, and the whole family can watch or participate, then spend the day playing at the park. Mission Bay’s cool breezes, tranquil waters and soft sand beaches welcome beach-goers to this beautiful area all year long. But if you do decide to come out for St. Paddy’s day, there are also abundant grassy areas for the kids to hunt for four-leaf clovers!

Where: Mission Bay Park – 1740 East Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA 92109
Starting Time: 7:30 AM
> Find out more about St. Patrick’s Day 10K Run, 4 & 2 Mile Fun Run

> San Diego Blooms in Spring


You’re Irish? Me too!

Slainte at The Field!

They say everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. As we noted yesterday, that’s definitely true in the Gaslamp Quarter during ShamRock when the streets are covered with more than 60,000 sq. ft. of bright green astroturf and more than 20,000 revelers pour in to listen to Celtic bands and DJ’s as they party into the night. During this, the largest St. Pat’s party west of the Mississippi, there’s no shortage of Irish-inspired drink specials for Harp, Guinness and Jameson lovers and you might even find someone pouring a green beer or two.

Whether you plan to partake in the ShamRock raucousness or not, in my opinion, it’s advisable to make sure your St. Patty’s celebrations include a good meal and civilized drink or two. Just like most towns in America, there are many “Irish” bars in San Diego. That’s why, I want to share a couple of suggestions about where you can really find those smiling Irish eyes.

The Field is a turn of the century Irish pub that was shipped literally piece by piece from Ireland to in the heart of San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. It still boasts the warm relaxing atmosphere of an old Irish country pub and serves the simple, hearty fare that is the signature of Emerald Isle cuisine. Dig into a bowl of Guinness beef stew rich with succulent cubed beef, potatoes, onions and carrots and seasoned to perfection with fresh herbs and of course Guinness. Enjoy melt-in-the-mouth corned beef served with red potatoes and tender cabbage or shepherd’s pie, a delicious combination of ground beef, diced carrots, peas, leeks and parsley topped with fluffy mashed potatoes lightly browned under the broiler. If you aren’t attending ShamRock, pop in for lunch on St. Pat’s but don’t dilly-dally. The pub is a center point of the festivities and once the party starts, the focus truly shifts from food to frolic.

While I can’t promise The Ould Sod will be civilized on St. Patrick’s Day, I can promise it will be authentically Irish. This bar in Normal Heights, near North Park, has been Irish-owned for the last 20-years and is one of the oldest bars in town (the third-oldest, if you’re counting). Famous for a wild live music scene, it’s a neighborhood pub but the Ould Sod always makes visitors feel right at home whether they’re ex-pat Irish, San Diegan or guests checking out our town. Sit back, order a beer and by night’s end you’ll be singing your heart out with strangers turned pals.

Of course, if you really want to celebrate in civilized style, Loews Coronado Bay Resort is offering The Plough and the Stars Gondola Cruise. Sign up and you’ll enjoy a group gondola cruise through the canals and waterways of the Coronado Cays while tasting three Irish whiskeys paired with traditional Irish soda bread, Dubliner cheese and Irish sausage. The one-hour cruises depart at 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on March 17. The cost is $35 per person. Space is limited to 12 passengers per cruise. Reservations are required by calling 619-429-6317.

Wonder what gondolas have to do with Ireland? Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!


Gaslamp Quarter Goes Green For shamROCK

The Gaslamp Quarter is going green for the 15th Annual Miller Lite shamROCK 2011. This Thursday, March 17th, over 60,000 square feet of green Astroturf will be laid down right in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. This annual event benefiting the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation will feature three stages of live entertainment and all the food, drink and general meriment you can handle.

The main stage starts off at 4:00 p.m. with authentic music from the Irish Fold Rock band the ShamROCKers. Next up, dance a jig with traditional Irish Step Dancers at 5:00 p.m. Next up is The Fooks from at 5:30 p.m. providing its own twists ROck to classic Celtic music. Throughout the evening all guests will have in and out privileges, specials and no cover charges at over 27 of the Gaslam’s hottest nightclubs and restaurants. Not matter where you are partying during shamROCK, be sure to get back to the Main Stage from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m. for the world famous headliner the Young Dubliners.

As always, shamROCK will be offering the designated driver program, with FREE rides home to anywhere in San Diego County to anyone with a shamROCK wristband. Shuttles will be leaving at the corner of 5th Avenue and G Street. Main entrance is located at 5th and G Street. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the event. Visit for more information.


5 To Try This Weekend

1. Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival. ‘Tis the luck of the Irish for San Diego when the 31st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off in Balboa Park on Saturday, March 12, 2011. The parade theme is “Irish Culture.” An Irish festival with traditional dancers, music, a beer garden and Celtic village follows the parade.

2. San Diego IndieFest 7. This music festival held at a new location – NTC Promenade, Liberty Station in Point Loma will celebrate contemporary independent music and features more than 65 acts across six stages along with independent film and spoken word venues.

3. San Diego Latino Film Festival. The Film Festival runs from March 10-20 at the UltraStar Cinemas at Hazard Center in Mission Valley and will feature works by Latinos or about the Latino experience. In its 18th year, over 2,000 films/videos from across Latin America and the United States have been screened.

4. Flower Fields Ranunculus Tours. Every year from March until early May, the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch blossom into a spectacular sea of brightly colored ranunculus flowers. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

5. Groundswell. Opening March 12, 2011 at the Old Globe Theatre, Groundswell is set in a small lodge on the ferociously rocky coast of South Africa, two men plot to convince their lone guest to invest in their diamond mining scheme. The three men find themselves caught in a power struggle fueled by greed and desperation and will go to any length to secure a chance at a better life. This unforgettable thriller offers a provocative look at a society still haunted by its divided past.