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St. Patrick’s events set for Saturday

Thousands of the Irish-at-heart will pack San Diego’s Balboa Park Saturday for the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day festival and parade, and descend on the Gaslamp Quarter Tuesday for the annual ShamRock festival.

The 29th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday on Sixth Avenue, between Laurel and Upas streets.

Mayor Jerry Sanders will be the executive grand marshal. The parade will feature high school marching bands, floats, cars, clowns, equestrian demonstrations and step dancers.

The free festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along the west side of Balboa Park, includes two stages for Irish music, dancing, a Celtic village, food and beer gardens.

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On Tuesday, the actual date of St. Patrick’s Day, revelers will head to downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter to celebrate during the 13th annual ShamRock festival.

More than 60,000-square-feet of green Astroturf will line the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter, where there will be Irish music, beer gardens, two stages of entertainment, go-go dancers and DJs.

The festival runs from 4 p.m. until midnight. The main entrance is at Fifth Avenue and G Street. Admission for the 21-and-up party is $20 in advance and $25 at the entrance.