MODESTO -- Shamrocks will be shaking in downtown Modesto come Saturday as the annual Lucky Fest pub crawl returns.
The St. Patrick's Day-themed megaparty, now in its third year, is billed as the largest St. Paddy's pub crawl in Northern California. There will be 25 pubs, all built from the ground up for one Saturday evening and one party only.
Presented by Chris Ricci Presents, Damsweet Productions and Guinness, the festival is expected to attract a crowd of Emerald Isle-loving partygoers this year, Chris Ricci said. Several of the pubs will have unique St. Patrick's Day themes and names, including Joanna's BailBonds Paddy Wagon, St. Patrick's Mustache Experience and Daniel O'Connor's Pandora's Box Pub. There will be four types of beer available, including three Irish beers, along with plenty of food vendors.
The lineup features a variety of entertainment, with stand-up comedians on stage at Patty O'Flynn's Comedy Shoppe, along with strolling bagpipers via the Ripon Police and Fire Band, rockabilly at the Irish Chicken Coop, dancing aboard Grace O'Malley's Pirate Ship, live acoustic artists at Peterson's Pipe House plus karaoke, DJs and more.
Last year, cold weather and rain took aim at the luck of the Irish. Nevertheless, about 4,000 people turned out, Ricci said.
A large portion of the festival will be held beneath an 18,000-square- foot tent, he added.
The Lucky Fest kicks off at 3 p.m. Saturday, in the Modesto Centre Plaza parking lot, between L and K streets. Tickets are $10 in advance, and can be purchased from www.luckyfestmodesto.com, at area Boyett Petroleum locations, Car Audio Outlaws at 301 McHenry Ave., the Tiki Lounge at 932 McHenry Ave., and Tresetti's restaurant, 927 11th St. Tickets at the door will be $20.