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Roanoke City Police get ready for the Shamrock Festival and St. Patrick’s Day Parade



Roanoke, Virginia – Roanoke City police are getting ready to go when the clock turns green to ensure that the good fortune of the Irish travels safely through Star City.

Thus, your only concern should be enjoying yourself.

The Shamrock Festival and St. Patrick’s Day parade are ready to bring in the green, with streets lined with shamrocks and the sound of bagpipes filling the air. Roanoke police are asking everyone to play it safe as they go in search of their pot of gold.

“We got a good plan for the route. It’s going to be the same route as we’ve traditionally ran, but we’ll have officers and enhanced presence on bikes is the biggest thing. We are going to get out, shake some hands, and we are really excited to bring a good safety plan to the downtown event,” Christopher Ramey, Lieutenant with the Roanoke Police Department said.

Since St. Patrick’s Day is often a big celebration day, having fun is usually top of mind for some individuals. However, your safety should always come first. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 82 alcohol-related crashes in Virginia throughout the previous St. Patrick’s Day weekend (March 17–19, 2023), resulting in 40 injuries and one death every day.

“If you’re going to partake in drinking, please have an idea of how you’re going to get home, what’s best for you. Is it having a designated driver, or would you like to do some ride-sharing program?” Ramey said.

Having a plan is what law enforcement is pushing for the most. If you are drunk, there’s no reason to take a chance on the roadways.

“If caught drinking and driving, you can face jail time, lose your driver’s license and your vehicle, and pay up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, car towing, higher insurance rates, and lost wages,” a spokesperson from the Virginia State Police said.

The RPD advises checking for street closures on the Waze map. Traffic Center, Waze, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and Fest.

“The roads are going to be impacted downtown, and we want people to be able to get where they are going and not miss any of the parade. The big message I have is leave early, leave early, and know where you’re going,” Ramey said.

Tomorrow is going to be a full day and night of festivities, so make plans in advance and, if you intend to drink, make sure you have a safe means to get home.

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