Sláinte! Here’s where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2022 in San Diego

Folks in the crowd pose for a photo as they watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Balboa Park.
(Kansas Rose)

Get ready for the return of many in-person events, including parades, festivals, bar crawls and marathons.


After two years of scaled-down celebrations, St. Patrick’s Day appears to be back in full swing in San Diego. The official holiday falls on Thursday, but festivities throughout the county kick off starting today.

From parades to bar crawls to marathons, here’s a glimpse of a few St. Patrick’s Day events happening in San Diego this year.

‘Irish 4 A Day’

St. Patrick’s Day is notorious for bar crawls, and there are plenty of them happening in San Diego this year. One of the most popular is “Irish 4 A Day,” billed as San Diego’s No. 1 St. Patrick’s Day Party Hop. Ticketholders receive free entry to more than 15 restaurants, bars and clubs in the Gaslamp Quarter — including Double Deuce, The Shout! House and Whiskey Girl — as well as five complimentary shots (bartender’s choice) at four participating venues. The self-guided tour offers live entertainment, music, DJs, dancing, face painting, extended happy hour, and much more. The party kicks off at American Junkie every night, and there will be finale parties at Parq (today and Saturday) or Vin de Syrah (Thursday). 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. today, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Thursday. Kicks off at American Junkie, 628 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. Tickets are $28-$30, excluding fees.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival in Balboa Park — hosted by Irish Congress of Southern California — is back after a two-year hiatus. Now celebrating its 40th year, the 2022 theme is “Irish Building America.” This all-ages celebration of Irish culture will offer live entertainment on two stages, including traditional dancing and bands. There will also be food booths with items like corned beef sandwiches and Guinness brats, and a beer garden pouring lots of Irish brews. And don’t miss the St. Patrick’s Day Parade — self-proclaimed to be the largest west of the Mississippi River — featuring floats, high school marching bands, dancing units, clowns, antique cars, Irish Setters and much more. Festival is 9 a.m. to 6 pm. at Sixth Avenue and Maple Street; parade starts at 10:30 a.m. at Fifth Avenue and Laurel Street. Balboa Park. Saturday. Free, with a $5 fee for beer garden entry;

ShamROCK St. Paddy’s Day Music + Beer Festival

Cheers with green beer (or seltzer) at the 26th annual ShamROCK, a 21-and-up music and beer event in the Gaslamp Quarter. Headlined by Celtic rockers Young Dubliners, the St. Paddy’s Day festival features Irish tribute and rock bands like Lexington Field, The Fooks, Blindfold Monks, Finnegan Blue, Pepper & Pocket, and Yodah, along with lots of DJ sets. In addition to tunes and brews, there will be performances from Irish dancers, a free Irish dance lesson, Irish food and whiskey drinks. Plus, guests can get in on the fun and participate in contests like stein holding, unicorn racing, Irish jig off, lucky limbo and many other activities. 2 p.m. to midnight. Saturday. Entrance is at Fifth Avenue and F Street, Gaslamp Quarter. Ticket start at $50;

San Diego Leprechaun Run

Get ready to run with leprechauns! St. Patrick’s Day may be known for its heavy food and beer consumption, but the fourth annual San Diego Leprechaun Run invites you to start the holiday with some exercise. All 5K runners receive a themed T-shirt, finisher medal, timing chip, custom bib and free photos — plus a complimentary drink ticket to toast to your accomplishment after reaching the finish line. The all-ages event also features a 1K route for kids, which starts at 10:15 a.m. A map of the course is available to view online. Pro tip: be sure to stop by the aid station with water and electrolytes at the 1.5 mile mark to refuel. 9 a.m. Saturday. Starting line at 912 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach. Tickets are $50 for 5K and $25 for Kids 1K;

Irish Stew Cook Off

Honor the holiday with some traditional fare: Irish stew! Foodies can sample savory stews cooked by local businesses, organizations, clubs and individuals from Valley Center. The outdoor event will also have an Irish pub, silent auction, costume content (best Irish lass and best leprechaun) and appearances from Miss Valley Center contestants. 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday. Shawii Kitchen at Native Oaks Golf Club, 14616 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center.