St. Patrick's Day Parade draws thousands to downtown Roanoke

Celebration of Irish culture is community tradition

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke went from being the Star City to the Emerald City on Saturday.

Thousands of people lined the streets in green for the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Shamrock Festival. Downtown Roanoke Inc. estimated before the festival that 15,000 would attend the event.

The parade started at Elmwood Park, then marched down Jefferson Street before turning onto Campbell Avenue. From there, it went past City Market before ending at Williamson Road.

Many traditional Irish bands took part in the parade, including several bagpipers.

Some attendees also regarded the festival as the unofficial start of spring, as the weather was warm enough to comfortably be outside.

"When you have young kids, it's really hard to be indoors with them," said Roanoke resident Brittany Crigler. "We have a great Roanoke community, and it's a great spirit in Roanoke, so it's really nice when the weather cooperates."

Several restaurants also had their own outdoor entertainment during the festival, and some avid runners competed in a St. Patrick's-themed 5K race before the parade.


About the Author: