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Reasons To Go To Montreal’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Certainly no easy feat, this year Montreal will be celebrating its 196th consecutive St. Patrick’s Day parade. Every year, celebrating North America’s rich Irish heritage, thousands of participants parade down the street of Ste. Catherine all the way to Philips Square. And, considering its robust history, there are a plethora of reasons as to why everyone should experience Montreal’s St. Patrick’s Day parade once, at the very least. To be fair, once experienced, you’ll more than likely want to relive the moment again and again for years to come.

Extensive History

As already assumed, Montreal’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is actually Canada’s oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade, held annually since 1824, no matter what the weather conditions may be. So, if there is a tornado about to crash through the city you can sure bet that the parade will go on (or maybe not).

Apparently, however, the longest running St. Patrick’s Day parades are from the cities of New York (boasting over 250 consecutive annual runs since 1762) and Boston (claiming to have organized and established the very first North American St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737).

Historical Route

Every year, the St. Patrick’s Day parade takes place on the Sunday closest to that of the actual holiday (March 17). The festivities originally began on the corner of Rue Du Fort and Ste. Catherine’s street until finally reaching its destination of Philips square. Although, last year, there was a bit of a detour due to construction (surprise, surprise) and instead the parade transpired on Boulevard De Maisonneuve, Rue MacKay, and finally on Boulevard Rene-Levesque. This year, nonetheless, the parade should be restored along its original route.

Party In The Streets

It is certainly one of the city’s utmost anticipated events of the spring season, and with good reason. Children and parents galore are clad in green, smiling away and waving back at the parade’s abundant participants (approximately four thousand, entailing more than twenty floats and twenty-five marching bands).

Another reason being, it’s one of the only occasions of the year where you are legally permitted to drink (within reason) green colored beer on the streets of Montreal, but only while the St. Patrick’s Day parade is running. Realizing this, you definitely don’t need to feel guilty when popping open a cold brew (preferably a Guinness) with your lads.

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Numerous Afterparties

Despite the parade itself tending to end at around 2:00PM, that certainly does not mean that the party must! That is to say, not only will the majority of Irish pubs in the downtown area be providing Irish breakfast and coffee prior to the actual parade, but all these same pubs will be expecting parade-goers to likewise stop by afterward for a drink or six! In addition, you will also be presented with traditional live Irish music as well as classic Irish pub grub. (And now I am hungry.)

Furthermore, there will continue to be various street festivals, performances, and even community events scheduled for when the parade finalizes.

Hopefully, by now, you are convinced that everyone who lives in the beautiful city of Montreal should experience the magnificence that is Montreal’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. Otherwise, if you skip it, you’re going to have to wait another 365 days until the next one and, realistically, no one wants to have wait that long. 

With that in mind, have you ever experienced our beloved St. Patrick’s Day parade? If so, how did you enjoy it? If not, then what the hell are you waiting for; leprechauns to grow on trees!?! In that case, I think you’ll be waiting a while.

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Jonathan Poole

Helllllloooo ladies and gents, I am from Montreal, Canada and a recent Concordia University psychology grad. My topics of interest are, of course, psychology, music, gaming, health and nutrition, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, among others. My end goal is to become an editor and/or find the world's best beer. Luckily for me, Montreal already has the latter covered. Cheers!

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