St. Maddie’s Day Parade in Roanoke (and Beyond)

The sound of the bagpipe breaks my ears, but the look is great.
Maddie and her pal Connor at the Memphis St. Maddie’s Day Parade today.

At the Roanoke Valley St. Maddie’s Day Parade yesterday, the only thing missing was my grandgirl, for whom all the celebration is intended. Every year, near her birthday on the Actual St. Maddie’s Day (it has been occasionally referred to as St. Patrick’s Day), March 17, there is a parade in Roanoke and at other environs in honor of Maddie’s birthday.

It’s Maddie’s 14th birthday this year. Maddie celebrated today in Memphis, where she lives, with a St. Maddie’s Parade downtown there.

I am happy to say that for the first time in my memory, I did not see a Confederate flag among all the paramilitary marchers. Yaaaaaaay!

I just love Irish dancers.

There was plenty of action in Roanoke, though, with leprechauns, pirates, vikings and all manner of green things. Herewith a look at some of it.

More Irish dancing.
Parades are for clowns … and their sidekicks in sidecars.
Disorganized Democrats being themselves.
Dog and family.
Adam Garland walking tall.
Beth Deel ready to fly.
Tall ladies in the crowd.
As we all know, I dig red hair.
Irish Star Warriors.
I don’t think this was meant to be a Gay Pride float, but it worked out that way.
Guy swears the hair’s natural.
The Irish flag is so heavy, it takes a gang to carry it.
My old buddy Robin Reed, Channel 7 news anchor, mugs for the camera.
More red hair attracts my camera.


Miss Roanoke Valley teen (left) and Miss RV older.
Little Miss Roanoke Valleys of all sorts practicing The Wave.

Vikings come in all sorts, including this beauty.
A more fearsome Viking.
He’s with the Vikings, but is he a Viking or a king’s guard soldier?
My old buddy Jeff, King of the Vikings.
Vikings get smoke breaks, too.
The last Viking (for today).


Sweet little Miss Mushroom, 2019.
Come blow your horn, brother.
Or, you can blow your bagpipe.
It’s St. Maddie’s, boys and girls, play on!

By admin

Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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