The San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade had it’s 1st celebration in 1851 during the Gold Rush. Citizens attended a party at Haynes Valley Park and when night fell, they attended a Shamrock Ball at a popular saloon. Then two years later, on March 17, 1853, San Francisco had their first St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade was long, but everyone enjoyed themselves, and there was a grand ball to end the day. In 1854, the procession grew and they marched throughout the streets of San Francisco; and now it is the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade west of the Mississippi River. San Francisco was also named as one of the top 5 places in the United States to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parades continued into the next century as people celebrated the great Irish tradition. Each year, the parade consists of a different theme, depending on the current conditions throughout the country. One of the most emotional parades occurred in 2002 after the devastating events of September 11, 2001. The Irish population of San Francisco tried to help the city regroup after terrorist rocked the country with their devastating attacks on New York City and Washington D.C..