Vendor issues bring changes to Shamrock Festival; St. Patrick’s Day Parade still on

Roanoke St. Patrick's Day Parade 2019
Roanoke St. Patrick's Day Parade 2019(WDBJ7)
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 3:13 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The show must go on, say organizers of the 2022 Freedom First St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Shamrock Festival, but with some changes.

The parade itself will happen as planned, rain or shine, according to Downtown Roanoke Incorporated. Some rain and possible snow are forecast for early Saturday.

The organizers issued this statement regarding public queries about moving the parade:

“We know you have questions on why we don’t just move it. The logistics that go into planning a parade with this scale and complexity mean changing the date is not feasible. The permits required do not allow for adjustment of the day or time. We have to account for street closures, police and security presence, volunteers, parade participants, and the thousands of people who have made plans to be there on a specific day and time. In short, we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, and share your frustration in the forecast. While we are locked in for this date, we are committed to making the event fun for everyone who joins us.”

The parade is scheduled for 11 a.m. and will be broadcast live on WZBJ24.

Regarding the Budweiser Clydesdales, scheduled to be part of the parade, parade officials say, “After having to cancel their appearance in our 2020 parade, the Budweiser Clydesdale team is committed to making their appearance in our parade if it is at all possible. The Clydesdale team’s inclement weather policy does not allow them to come out in rain or snow. We are hoping for a clear window to get them into the parade.

“If this changes and we know with certainty this will not happen, we will update you as soon as we are advised.”

The Shamrock Festival is being moved from the 12th to March 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. because a vendor backed out and without the equipment supplied by that vendor, according to event officials, the event can’t happen. Location and other details of the event are not changing, with organizers saying, “We are actively working to move the music schedule and will provide the updated music info once it’s finalized.”

Kids Zone, scheduled for midday in Market Square Saturday, has been canceled, with the goal of its return in 2023.

If you signed up to volunteer at the Shamrock Festival, you are asked to check your email and let organizers know if you can still make it.

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