Members of the Virginia Highlands Pipes and Drums march last year iin the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday. | The Roanoke Times | File 2012 March 17, 2012
Downtown Roanoke Inc. and Corned Beef & Co.’s owner have confirmed that a second Celtic music festival has been scheduled for the city on March 16, the day of Roanoke’s traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade and festival.
DRI, in its first year running what it is calling the Shamrock Festival, has taken heat in recent days for booking mainstream rock acts to play the event, which also will feature at least two Celtic bands. Read more about that at roanoke.com. Roger Neel, owner of Corned Beef & Co. and other city restaurants, said today that he is hosting an all-Celtic event near the restaurant.
DRI spokesman Matthew Klepeisz said that not only will DRI’s Shamrock Festival continue as planned, but DRI will provide support to the new event.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to work with that group to really bring the Celtic music that I think originally was questioned,” Klepeisz said.
Neel said that he was going to a 1 p.m. meeting to work out details and could not elaborate on the new event’s name, schedule or acts on the bill until afterward.
Klepeisz said that DRI doesn’t think that the all-Celtic event will have a negative effect on the Shamrock Festival.
“I think that this just continues to expand the appeal,” he said. “For us to be able to have multiple offerings, multiple stages, that really puts us on a different level with this event than I think we’ve seen in the past.
“Clearly, the footprint of this event is expanding, and I think that’s in direct reaction to the amount of people that are interested in this event, that are going to be coming down for it. I think it’s great, absolutely.”
We’ll post more information as we gather it.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Shamrock Festival
> Parade begins at 11 a.m. at Jefferson Street and Albemarle Avenue, with featured marchers WARPIPE, Jamestown Pipes and Drums, the Shenandoah Valley Pipe Band, Virginia Highlands Pipes and Drums
> Festival begins at 10 a.m. at Market Street and Salem Avenue, with Beggar’s Circus, Superhold, Madrone, and WARPIPE. downtownroanoke.org
> 10 a.m. Jefferson Street, between Campbell Avenue and Salem Avenue
> With Second Wynde, Beggar’s Circus, WARPIPE, Traditional Irish Session Roanoke, dancers and more
> 8 p.m. March 15. Jefferson Center. celticcrossroads.ie, jeffcenter.org