The 23rd Annual McDonald's St. Patrick's Day Parade will continue its long standing tradition of "honoring those who protect and serve," by selecting D-Day veteran, John Kessler, as the parade Grand Marshal. Kessler served in the United States Military for 13 ½ years. John first enlisted in the National Guard before graduating high school and then spent several years in various military training schools. John and his Battalion took part in one of the most famous invasions in history; D-Day. He was awarded five combat stars and 12 medals, two of which are the Purple Heart, for his accomplishments and dedication to the United States Military. At age 90 he is still inspiring others with his valor and sacrifice to serve our country.

This year's Céilí Queen is Carol Williams, former EventZone staffer and "Queen of Festivals." Carol has been a great contribution to many local events including the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Celtic Festival. Her hard work and creativity have made the festivals thrive and become what they are today. In 2010 Carol suffered a severe stroke, which left her paralyzed on her left side and with loss of speech. She is currently continuing her physical and speech therapy at home with her family. We are delighted to announce Carol Williams as our Céilí Queen.

So kick off the holiday weekend with the Celtic Crossroads "World Fusion Tour" show on Friday March 16th. Celtic Crossroads is critically acclaimed as 'the most exhilarating and authentic show to come from Ireland in decades - not to be missed!" Show time is at 8:00pm; advance tickets are available at the Jefferson Center Box office.

Saturday March 17th is a day for the entire family to enjoy all that downtown Roanoke has to offer. For complete schedule of activities visit the event website at If you would like additional information please contact Amanda Gaylor.

High resolution photographs of Celtic Crossroads and the 2011 festivities are available upon request.