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The original item was published from 2/28/2020 5:22:26 PM to 3/16/2020 12:00:03 AM.

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Posted on: February 28, 2020

[ARCHIVED] 53rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade to Take over Ocean View March 14

Businessman Stephen B. Ballard Will Lead the Parade

NORFOLK, Va. – Get ready for the day when everyone gets to be Irish during the 53rdd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Ocean View. 

The parade, operated by Norfolk Parade Inc., is the largest in the Hampton Roads area and along the East Coast and one of the largest in the country. The parade begins promptly at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at Northside Middle School on Granby Street (between Evans and Westmont streets). The entourage travels down Granby and turns left onto A View Avenue then turns left onto First View Street stopping at the reviewing stand at the corner of First View and Government Avenue in the heart of Ocean View. 

Leading the parade will be the 2020 Grand Marshall, Stephen B. Ballard, president and CEO of S.B. Ballard Construction Co. and namesake of S.B. Ballard Stadium at Old Dominion University. Ballard, who is active in many charitable and civic organizations, will be in charge of ushering nearly 200 parade units, including marching bands, The Shriners, military and youth groups, clowns, schools, car clubs and much more. The parade lasts approximately two hours. 

How did this local event begin? “Why don’t we have a parade to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” were the first words spoken in 1967 when several brothers of the Knights of Columbus Father Kealey Council #3548 marched around their cinder block building and started a tradition. The first “grand marshal” donned his green hat, and sash and climbed into a convertible car in 1968. 

Kealey Council of the KofC turned over operation and management of the parade to Norfolk Parade Inc. in 2016. Norfolk Parade is made up of a diverse group of Ocean View citizens and business people who have sworn to keep the tradition alive. 

In true Irish fashion, Norfolk Parade Inc.’s after-party will be held at the Columbian Club of Ocean View, 211 W. Government Ave., from noon-4 p.m. You must be 21 years of age to enter and participate. Food and drink will be available for purchase. Two bands will play, one inside and one outside. 

Don’t forget the official pre-St. Patrick’s Day party, Shamrock Shenanigans, on Saturday, March 7, 2020, from 6-11 p.m. at the Columbian Club of Ocean View, featuring the band Steppenstone. Cost is $20. The cost to participate in the parade is free for nonprofits or charitable groups, $250 for for-profit groups and organizations. To participate in the parade, visit for an application. For more information contact Parade Media/Marketing Director Steve Duke at 757- 373-9184 or email him at