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Roanoke Celtic Festival Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

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Shannon McGuire

Staff Writer

 

Every March 17th all around the globe people gather in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.  While the origins of St. Patrick’s Day are not truly known there are many reasons why people celebrate it. Some say it was the day St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland while others say it was the day of St. Patrick’s death.  Regardless, the day has become a time to celebrate the people of Ireland and those of Irish decent. This is the day were people pull out their green outfits and head down to the local bar or pub to drink some green beer. If you’re not 21 don’t worry there is still plenty of fun activities.

Downtown Roanoke holds a Celtic festival each year. This last St. Patrick’s day was no exception. The festival started at 10am and was packed with people all trying to find a good spot to watch the parade which took place at 11am. It looked more like a sea of green than the normal downtown area one would be used to seeing. There were booths set up in every direction selling everything from jewelry to shirts to delicious kettle corn.

As 11am came around, people were getting excited for the parade to start. Eventually you could hear the sounds of Celtic music coming closer until a wave of people in green came around the corner. The parade lasted for 2 hours but, it was well worth it. There were floats with Smokey the Bear, green beer, and cheeseburgers. Among those waling in the parade were the Salem firefighters and police along with local groups that ranged from outdoor adventures to Occupy Roanoke. It was a very exciting event for kids and families within the Roanoke area.

St. Patrick’s Day is always a festive and fun day. It’s a good thing it happens every year. So get your calendars out and start counting down till next year’s St. Patrick’s Day when that good old green outfit will get to make another debut.