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The luck of the Irish hits Roanoke

Published On: Mar 14 2014 09:15:39 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 14 2014 10:59:15 PM EDT

Downtown businesses were slammed Friday, making sure everything will be perfect for Saturday's green party


It's one of the mid-Atlantic's premiere celebrations and it's happening right here in Roanoke. Preparations for The McDonald's St. Patrick's Day Parade and Shamrock Festival are already underway.

Downtown businesses were slammed Friday, making sure everything will be perfect for Saturday's green party

"Every year, it's our busiest day of the year, and every year, we break the previous year's record."

Jason Martin is talking about St. Patrick's Day at Martin's Downtown. He and his staff are getting ready, closing off part of the street and getting ready for a party-Irish Style.

"Shepherd's pie, corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash, fish and chips, all that good stuff, we're doing over 12 hours of live music," Martin told WDBJ7.

Before all that, the St. Pat's Day parade will get everyone in the mood and the businesses on Market Street will also go green.

"It's not just the restaurants, the stores are doing fun things too. We're also looking for lots of young people, lots of young kids to come on down here and enjoy the fun things that we've got for them," said business owner, Pauline Wood.

One of the places sure to see the most foot traffic is Corned Beef & Company on Jefferson Street. Outside of all the drink and food specials and outside drink tent, management is also focusing on safety.

"We have a professional security team coming in. Stu Israel's professional team is going to have about 15 people on staff, we have another 20 of our regularly trained staff on hand. We're just going to watch the crowd control," Colin Jones, Director of Operations for Corned Beef and Company told Your Hometown News Leader.

With upwards of 25,000 people expected, this weekend's festivities is sure bring out the Irish in all who stop by for a pint.

Downtown Roanoke Inc. is also throwing a Celtic Fest downtown on Saturday, and most of the restaurants and bars are opening early.

Parts of Salem and Campbell Avenues and Jefferson Street will be closed for the parade, which begins at 11 a.m.

Organizers recommend drivers use the city's parking garages.