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McDonald's St. Patrick's Day Parade and Shamrock Festival Release

March 19,2013

For Immediate Release                                                                Contact:  Matthew Klepeisz



McDonald’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Shamrock Festival Announces Parade Winners
Parade and Festival attract approximately 22,000 people to downtown Roanoke

ROANOKE, Va. (March 18, 2013)—The McDonald’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Shamrock Festival  hosted more than 22,000 people this year at Roanoke City’s 24th annual celebration of Irish culture and heritage. The downtown Roanoke event was expanded this year with two musical venues featuring both Celtic and mainstream music performances, and a children’s area with face painting, balloon animals, and the very popular moonwalk.   

More than 100 organizations participated in this year’s parade and festival.  The parade of floats is always one of the most anticipated events of the day.  This year’s entrants were outstanding, with the winners as follows:

Most Patriotic– Patrick Henry High School Air Force ROTC Unit

Best Irish Theme– Tuff Gumby

Best Neighborhood– Old Southwest Inc.

Best Non-Profit– TIE: Angels of Assisi and Caporales Ruphay

Best Business– Western Virginia Water Authority

Best Overall– Virginia Highlands Pipe & Drums

“Thank you to our great music acts, parade participants, sponsors, downtown business owners, and volunteers, and to all of the people who came out to support the McDonald’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Shamrock Festival on Saturday,” said Tina Workman, Vice President of Events and Operations for Downtown Roanoke, Inc. “With everyone’s support and participation, the event was a great success.”

“We have already begun to plan for the 2014 McDonald’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Shamrock Festival celebration to continue our success,” said Workman. “We welcome volunteer support from Roanoke-area residents who want to help shape this annual opportunity to celebrate the Irish culture in our region and promote the wonderful attributes of the downtown Roanoke.”  


“It was a great day to be a downtown Roanoke merchant,” said Tim Belcher of Rolling Meadows Farm.  “Sales were better than the last few years, the crowd stayed downtown throughout the day and restaurants were packed. I also heard a lot of positive feedback regarding the music.”

Roanoke City’s next exciting event managed by DRI will be BB&T’s Roanoke Party in the Parkheld at a new location on Jefferson Street, next to Elmwood Park and the library, every Thursday night from May 16 through Sept. 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The May 16 event opens with beach music favorite, The Swingin’ Medallions.  For a full schedule of performers, visit www.downtownroanoke.org.

Summer kicks off officially on May 24 when Festival in the Park, Inc. and DRI present Festival 2013, sponsored by Bank of America.  Festival 2013 will be held at the River's Edge Sports Complex in downtown Roanoke this year, and will include concerts, vendors and much more. To participate in Festival 2013, visit www.downtownroanoke.org for applications.

For updates on all events that are happening in downtown Roanoke—or to volunteer for any of the upcoming events—visit DRI’s web site at www.downtownroanoke.org.

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About Downtown Roanoke, Inc.
Downtown Roanoke, Inc. is a tax-exempt member organization first chartered in 1960 to provide services and support to downtown property owners, businesses and residents.  DRI provides services throughout the Downtown Service District under a contract with the City of Roanoke and also manages the Historic Roanoke City Market, which is the oldest continuously-operating open air market in Virginia.  DRI also presents a number of showcase events in downtown Roanoke including the Harvest Festival, and the SunTrust Dickens of a Christmas - a major holiday season street festival taking place each year on the first three Fridays of December.

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