St. Patrick's Day is upon us, sure and begorrah, and this year Dublin presents a chance to don the green and venture out -- or to enjoy everything Irish at home -- in a weeklong celebration beginning March 13.
"We've taken our weekend festival and turned it into a weeklong celebration to spread out all the activities and to get people involved at all comfort levels," city recreation coordinator Lauren Marriott said.
The 37th St. Patrick's Day Celebration will kick off with a chalk art event at Civic Center Fountain Plaza; Irish dance lessons; the first day of the Shamrock 5K Fun Run and Walk; an Irish Marketplace; and an evening drive-in concert featuring Celtic rock band Tempest and CaliCeltic.
"It will all be highly regulated but exciting," Marriott said.
The "Lucky to be in Dublin" chalk art contest is accepting reservations for 30-minute time slots between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The cost is $5 per square, which includes the chalk, to be done by an individual or a family.
"There will be only three families at any given time so people can spread out and create their squares," Marriott said. "For people who aren't comfortable coming out, they can decorate squares at home and submit a picture."
"Everything that is being done in person, we are trying to include people who celebrate at home," she added.
Irish dance lessons will be taught to youngsters by the McGrath Irish Dancers and the McBride School of Irish Dance next Saturday and Sunday (March 13-14) at Shannon Community Center. The cost is $12 per person.
The Shamrock 5K Fun Run and Walk has two components: a competitive route, held at Emerald Glen Park, and non-recorded participation.
"If you are not comfortable going out to Emerald Glen, you can do it on a treadmill at home or in your own neighborhood," Marriott said.
The official course through Emerald Glen Park has mile markers and directions posted, including designated start and finish areas set up for photo ops to share on social media and tag #DublinStPats. The course may be completed any time between March 13 and March 20.
Registered participants will receive T-shirts. The Racejoy app will allow virtual tracking to establish winners, and gift certificates for Dick's Sporting Goods will be awarded to the top three finishers in each age category. Register at www.DublinStPats.com.
The Celtic rock concert March 13 is accepting reservations for 100 cars at $40 each, and attendees must register in advance. The parking lot will open at 4:30 p.m. for the 6 p.m. concert.
"We are following the Alameda County guidelines for vehicle-based gatherings," Marriott said.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 13-14, Hacienda Crossings will become an Irish marketplace featuring Celtic artwork, Irish tartans, hand-knit wool sweaters, Celtic capes, shawls and jewelry, as well as fine arts and crafts and vendors from around the world. There will be no food items for sale.
A Shamrockin' Scavenger Hunt will take place March 13-20, with leprechauns and pictures of Glen the Guide hidden throughout Dublin. Players can download the GooseChase app and enter the code DUBLINSTPATS.
Celebration events offered online include Irish cooking, a fun tutorial on how to create a "Lockdown Leprechaun" with supplies found around the house, and city historian Steve Minniear discussing how Dublin, Calif., got its name.
"Another major component of the celebration is we are encouraging residents to help our local business community in painting the town green by frequenting our small businesses throughout town," Marriott said. "They have taken a bigger hit and had to change the way they operate."
That week, businesses are offering special St. Patrick's Day-themed specials. Customers can print out a Discover Dublin BINGO card to get stamped at each business they patronize and present the completed card to the city for prizes.
Marriott recalled last year when the St. Patrick's Day Celebration was called off just one week in advance at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
"Everything was ready to go," she said. "With its being St. Patrick's Day, there wasn't too much wiggle room to reschedule."
She looks forward to next year and the reappearance of the regular highlights after a two-year hiatus: the Dublin Lions Club Parade, the Green and White Gala, and the Firefighters Pancake Breakfast. This year, the Lions Club is hanging green ribbons throughout downtown to add to the festive feel.
For more details and to register for events, visit www.DublinStPats.com.