St. Patrick, his very own self, will be the honored guest when the ever-popular Murphys Irish Day is celebrated in the historic gold rush town on Saturday, March 17.  He will be the parade Grand Marshal.

“Whenever this delightful festival falls on my birthday I do my best to be present,” said the patron saint of Ireland.  “It is always enjoyable to be with so many good people having such a wonderful time.”

Murphys Irish Day is always the third Saturday of March.  It will not fall on St. Patrick’s Day again until 2029.

The day will begin with a hearty pancake breakfast from 8 to 10:00 a.m. at the Congregational Church on the corner of Church and Algiers Streets. The menu includes ham, scrambled eggs, pancakes, juice, tea and coffee. Tickets may be ordered by calling the church office at 209-728-3141. Tickets will also be sold at the door, $8 for adults and $5 for children ten and under. Proceeds will go to various local and global charities supported by the Church.

The Main St. festivities will start at 10 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m.  There is no admission charge.

More than 150 vendors, including 24 that are new to the event, will be set up along Main St. and will offer fine arts and crafts, home-baked delicacies, Irish themed souvenirs and many tasty things to eat and drink.

The Native Sons will be selling their famous corned beef sandwiches.  A wide variety of other foods will be available along Main St. when hunger sets in.   Beverages on sale will include fresh lemonade, beer and wine.

In addition, all the restaurants, tasting rooms and shops on Main St. will be open to explore and appreciate.


At 11 a.m., the swirl of bagpipes will herald the start of the Murphys Irish Day Parade as it makes its way down Main St. with St. Patrick as the Grand Marshal.

The Girl Scouts will be the color guard and lead the parade. Members of the Boy Scouts and Puzzle Pieces Playschool will be among the other groups representing the young people of the area. There will be equestrian units including the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse.

Making a triumphant return to Murphys will be Rusty O’FlaTTery, the world’s tallest leprechaun.  After the parade, he will emerge as his other self to entertain the crowd with his unique brand of humor, juggling, and magic.

Local organizations participating in the parade will include the Native Sons of the Golden West, with their giant California flag, Soroptimists, Murphys Old Timers Museum, and the Murphys Community Club.

Other parade entries will include a classic car or two, four miniature Sicilian donkeys, Bernese Mountain Dogs, The Irish Cultural Society, Mr. Frog’s Wild Ride, the Sheriff’s Department and the Murphys Fire District.

Announcers Dave Bowman and Jim Bailey will be stationed along the parade route to describe each entry as it passes.

Live Entertainment

Live entertainment with a decidedly Irish theme will be presented throughout the day on two stages and along Main Street.  Bagpipe music will fill the air.  The Tommyknocker Cloggers will set everyone’s feet a tapping.  A variety of musical groups will add to the festival atmosphere.  A new attraction this year will be The Lynx Show with its mixture of magic, death-defying stunts, and hilarious comedy antics.

Other entertainers include Freight featuring Grover Anderson & Jimbo Scott, The Treacherous French, Plan B, Sequoia, Michael Mullen-A Trio of One, Bill Welles & Friends, Three Irish Pipers and more.
Win a Trip to Ireland

The luck of the Irish will take on special meaning for one happy couple when they are transported from a gold rush town with Irish heritage to the fabled land of shamrocks and leprechauns as grand prize winners of the Win a Trip to Ireland raffle.  Specially created Murphys area vacation prize packages will be awarded to two runners-up.

Raffle tickets are five dollars each or five for $20.  They are available through March 16 at the Calaveras Visitors Bureau in Angels Camp, and many locations in Murphys including Creative Cookware, Marisolio Olive Oils, Murphys Hotel, Next – Upscale Resale, The Spice Tin, and Sierra Nevada Adventure Company.  They also will be available at the Business Association booth in front of the Native Sons Hall on the day of the event.

The winning tickets will be drawn near the end of the event.  You need not be present to win.

Free Parking & Shuttle Service

Free parking will be available at Ironstone Vineyards on Six Mile Road.   A free shuttle bus, provided by Ironstone and the Murphys Business Association, will run between Ironstone and the Arbors parking lot at Jones and Scott Streets.  Shuttles will leave approximately every 20 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Free parking will also be available at the Black Bart Playhouse parking lot on Algiers St. after the parade has finished and cleared. Parking for cars with disabled person placards or plates will be located in the Arbors parking lot at Jones and Scott Streets and at the Masonic Hall, 384 Church St.

There will be no parking from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Main, Church, Algiers, Sheep Ranch, Scott, and Jones Sts. and Six Mile Road.  When traveling to the event motorists should use Highway 4, and not Murphys Grade Road.

Main Street will be closed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the day of the event.

The major Irish Day sponsors are Black Oak Casino, Broll Mountain Vineyards, Cal Waste, Insight Manufacturing, Ironstone Vineyards, Marisolio Tasting Bar, Mark Twain Medical Center / Dignity Health, Murphys Pourhouse, and Tanner Vineyards.  See our entire list of generous sponsors here.

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