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St Patrick’s Day Celebrated in Downtown Roanoke

Written By Hannah Guanti

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Roanoke is a day filled with music, food, activities, parades, drinks, and so much more. 

The weekend started on Saturday with the Freedom First Parade through downtown. Local school groups, local businesses, plus professional musicians and dancers joined the parade, creating a lively start to the morning. The previous night, Roanoke storefronts had been decorated in preparation for the weekend. 

The parade was the official opening to the Shamrock Festival which lasted all day. The Shamrock Festival is what draws most people downtown. 

“This was my first year at the festival,” Says Nayeli Benitez, college junior. “I loved the live music and the food but it was definitely more crowded than I would have expected,”

With free entry, the Shamrock Festival hosted live bands, adult beverages, and more. It is open to all ages and pets. 

This was not all, several Roanoke bars such as Martins, Corned Beef & Co, and Sidewinders were hosting their own St. Patrick’s Day events with DJs, live bands, plus food and drink specials all-day.

If adult-beverages and live music are not for you, the Crafteria hosted a Go Green! Event. The Crafteria is a marketplace for independent sellers which hosts various businesses and small-batch food. 

The real St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Sunday. After a long Saturday filled with a sea of green, many businesses were not inclined to host large gatherings on the holiday. 

Big Lick Brewing Company hosted Paint Night beginning at 2pm and almost all Roanoke and Salem businesses were offering discounts on food and drink. 

When asked what they were looking forward to most about St. Patrick’s Day Weekend, here is how several students responded. 

“I’m excited to go downtown to the parade with all my friends.” Said Logan Watkins, junior. 

“I love the live music, they always get great local bands.” Shared sophomore Daniel Carey. 

“I was so excited to go downtown with everyone from Roanoke. I don’t get a chance to go downtown as often as I’d like, especially not when the whole school is there,”said senior Adler Jenkins. 

“This was my first St. Patrick’s Day in Roanoke, I had no idea what to expect but I knew it would definitely be fun.” Said freshman Morgan Bullen.