DUBLIN -- This city is throwing out its Irish welcome mat to the public on Saturday and Sunday for its big annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration with a Saturday parade, and two days of music and dance, food and craft booths, and carnival rides.
And, of course, there will be everything green, from beer to pancakes.
City officials estimate as many as 50,000 people have attended past versions of the annual two-day festival in and around the Dublin Civic Plaza at 100 Civic Plaza, which is adjacent to the Dublin Civic Center and library.
Irish dancers and musicians ranging from bagpipers to Celtic rockers will perform on three stages, starting at 10 a.m. both days.
"We call it the largest two-day St. Patrick's Celebration in the West," said Stephanie Mein, Dublin's recreation coordinator. "It's a great weekend to be Irish and put on green and come join us."
There is no charge for admission to the parade and festival grounds.
The city's 30th annual St. Patrick's Day festival happens rain or shine, beginning Saturday morning with a pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. at Dublin Fire Station No. 16, at the intersection of Donohue Drive and Amador Valley Boulevard. The Dublin firefighters' breakfast benefits the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, and the Alameda County Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. The charge is $5 per person.
The Lions Club St. Patrick's Day parade begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the corner of Amador Plaza Road and Dublin Boulevard, and proceeds east on Dublin Boulevard, north on Village Parkway and west on Amador Valley Boulevard.
This year's parade will feature more than 80 floats, with the usual mix of marching bands, horse units, clowns, dancers, youth groups and more.
City officials suggest parade watchers park along Clark Avenue or on lots off that street for easy access to both the parade and the festival. Parade seats in bleachers will be available on a first-come first-served basis along Amador Valley Boulevard.
In a returning highlight, the McGrath and McBride Irish dancers will perform continuously on a stage both days.
Celtica, a Celtic rock band from Western Ireland, will headline the main music stage.
Tea and scones will be served in an Irish tea cottage both days.
For those who want some brisk exercise, an organized 5k run and walkwill start at 8:30 a.m. Sunday at Civic Plaza. Online registration is available until Tuesday at www.Active.com.
Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuf.