Kera, my little leprechaun party planner!

Feeling lucky? Saturday is every drinker’s favorite holiday – St. Patrick’s Day!  It’s sure to be a special one in San Francisco, too, as one of the city’s favorite pastimes is getting drunk in costume. Check and check!

This holiday has a different meaning for Kera, a friend of mine. Her birthday falls on this most fortuitous of days, making it a perfect reason to have a party, obviously!

I mentioned Kera in my previous post about Mexico; I love her because she does everything with a flourish. She rolled up to Mexico with party hats, polaroids and a trunk full of costumes. So I was really excited to go to one of her famous themed birthday brunches last year!

Here’s a few four-leafed clovers I plucked to give you some luck when planning your own Saint Patrick’s Day party.

Plan to Plan

As effortless as her events seem, Kera attributes her success to starting planning early. Two or three months ahead of time, she starts brainstorming ideas with friends and making lists of games and other party elements. 

The night before, she does most of the immediate preparations, like paper-cutting and putting up decorations. Two hours before start time, she has one or two helpers lend a hand with warm food prep and last-minute touches.

Another important thing to decide early on is timing, as this will define the vibe of the party.

“I feel that San Francisco nightlife is a little competitive, so I decided to have a day party,” Kera said. “Plus, people are more present during the day.”

Now, if the party continues into the night, that’s great – but by then you can unwind with everyone else!

Make it Green (duh)

Obviously, a St. Patrick’s Day party has to be oozing with green. Thankfully, this is easy – you would be hard-pressed to walk into a Walgreens in March without finding an aisle or two of green top hats and rainbows. And no one wants to get pinched, so you don’t have to worry too much about enforcing the dress code.

But just in case someone totally misses the memo, the host should be there to pick up the slack.

“I often have extra costumes/accessories for people that don’t come prepared,” Kera said.



Sure enough, a table greeted me at the end of Kera’s stairwell filled with a pretty good selection of last-minute costumes. It was clear that her apartment would soon be filled with a bunch of drunk leprechauns.

Aside from decor and costumes, don’t forget green and Irish-themed food!  There were lots of green veggies and appetizers available, as well as the Irish staples: corned beef hash and Irish coffee. 


Easy, green AND healthy!


A traditional Irish spread.


And whiskey. Lots of whiskey.

Add a Touch of Whimsy

Take a page out of a leprechaun’s book: adding fun details like games are a great way to keep people laughing, mingling and taking plenty of photos.

And true to the mischievous nature of that creepy little man-fairy, the game Kera created for guests was rather…playful.

Pinned to a wall in a prominent part of her kitchen was a pair of little green briefs, surrounded by cards titled “Kera is…”. Everyone was told to anonymously fill in the blank with something unique to the birthday girl. Later, she named one of the cards the winner, and gave one hell of a prize – the chosen one had to wear the undies for the rest of the party!



This was also a great way to say something sweet and funny about Kera on her birthday that she can keep.

In addition to the undies game, Kera had built a sparkly green photo backdrop with her rack of silly hats and other costumes available beside it. (Y’all already know how I feel about interesting photo ops at events.)


Say, “Shepherd’s Pie!”


Finally – although not really in theme – no party would be complete without a piñata! You can’t really ever go wrong with mild physical violence against an inanimate object; just be careful to play this before people start getting tipsy if drinking is involved.  



For this year’s brunch, Kera is deviating from the luck of the Irish and returning to a theme she used for her first brunch: Mad Hatters! I don’t have any hats to wear, but something tells me she’s got me covered.