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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Includes Irish History, Music, Dance, Drinks at NightLife

Posted on Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 5:00 PM

click to enlarge We're not sure, but there might be some shamrocks in the California Academy of Sciences' living roof.
  • We're not sure, but there might be some shamrocks in the California Academy of Sciences' living roof.
San Francisco has numerous St. Patrick's Day traditions. One of them is going to an Irish bar and being part of a drunken mass so huge that you can all incidentally wander (stagger?) into a main thoroughfare such as Geary Boulevard or Bush Street and block it like a giant amoeba without having to worry about being arrested or asked to please step aside. This event is St. Patrick's NightLife, happening Thursday at the California Academy of Sciences. It has nothing to do with that tradition.

At NightLife, you can have an Irish drink or two (or more) and also take in bits of the culture not related to the pub. Performers play not only the Celtic harp but also an instrument called the nyckelharpa, which organizers say has 16 strings and 37 keys and has existed for more than 600 years. Irish step-dancers do, well, whatever Irish step-dancers do. DJ Nako provides a more modern soundtrack. Someone or something called The Reality Thief roams the party doing magic.

click to enlarge No shamrocks were harmed in the making of this green cocktail.
  • No shamrocks were harmed in the making of this green cocktail.
Guinness as well as cocktails that include Irish whiskey are among the drinks offered. The whole place is cast in "an ethereal green light," so maybe if you forget to wear green, no one will notice. Just the same, organizers warn that crabs are among the sea life in the aquarium, so it's better not to risk getting pinched.

St. Patrick's NightLife starts at 6 p.m. Thursday at the California Academy of Sciences. Admission is $12.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section.

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