Balboa Park Turns Irish with Celebration

Parade, festival set for Saturday

By Michael Gehlken
|  Saturday, Mar 12, 2011  |  Updated 1:50 PM PDT
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Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather at Balboa Park Saturday morning for the 31st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival.

Donning the theme “Irish Culture,” the parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Fifth Avenue and Juniper Street. It will then travel north on Fifth to Upas Street, west on Upas to Sixth Avenue, and then south on Sixth to conclude at Juniper.

A festival, held in conjunction, will open at Balboa Park at 9 a.m. Dual-stage music entertainment will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The festival will offer a kids zone that includes games, rides, llamas and face paintings, and actors at the Celtic Village will perform a Renaissance reenactment set in 1582.

Admission to both events, which are organized by the Irish Congress of Southern California, is free.

Among the over 150 parade entries, drill teams, dancing groups, antique cars, scout troops, the Friendly sons of St. Patrick, and the San Diego Police Department, Fire Department and Border Patrol will participate.

There were also be bag-pipe contingents, marching bands, and floats.

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