St Patrick’s Day in Montreal is the largest celebration in Canada that honors the patron saint of Ireland. Since 1824 the Montreal St Patrick’s Day parade has welcomed spring for both locals and visitors. A large replica of Saint Patrick serves as the official start to the parade, and over the course of three hours floats, bands, and members of the community follow him through the streets of Montreal. Local citizens are serious about their celebration of St Patrick’s Day, and no circumstances, including snowstorms and economic recessions, have stopped them from putting on the parade each March. Saint Patrick’s Day Montreal has earned a reputation for fun, entertainment, and an impressive display of green.
The Montreal St Patrick's Day parade has changed locations from Old Montreal to the main downtown avenue Ste Catherine Street. Head here to grab your seat for the annual extensive display of Irish pride. The parade is held on March 17, or the closest Sunday to that date. Other cities such as Boston and Chicago adopt this same policy of celebrating on the Sunday closest to the Irish holiday. If this seems like sacrilege to you, head for New York City to celebrate—they always fire up the band on Mach 17 no matter what day of the week the holiday falls on.
However, St Patrick’s Day 2016 in Montreal isn’t all about the parade. In the Irish pubs around the city, the celebration continues well after the marching bands have gone home. The welcoming atmosphere of true Irish pubs can be experienced throughout Montreal, where live music and the perfect pint will make you feel as if you’re in Dublin. For many locals, the best place to grab a pint is Hurley’s Irish pub. Although it is located on tourist-friendly Crescent Street, Hurley’s still provides an atmosphere that draws locals like moths to a flame. Live music and a great ambience give this location the right to call itself a true Irish pub.
Saint Patrick’s Day Montreal wouldn’t be complete without music, and you are sure to hear a variety of instruments all day long. Don’t be surprised to see live acts taking the stage as the evening sets in on St Patrick’s Day in Montreal. If you want your grub to be Irish as well, head for Irish Embassy, a pub with an expansive terrace and great fish and chips. If you’re in town for a few days, Irish Embassy is also a great place to catch the big sports game. For a bit of dancing to end your Saint Patrick’s Day Montreal, you can go to McKibbins Irish pub downtown. From live acts to a top floor dance area, this is the spot to keep the party going.
After all of the evening festivities, the beginning of your day at the Montreal St Patrick’s Day parade may seem like ages ago! A highlight of the three-hour parade isn’t only the floats and bands, but the costumes of your fellow parade-goers. If you’re planning a trip to Montreal this year to honor Saint Patrick, remember to bring along your face paint, green clothes, and large leprechaun hats. This holiday gives people of all backgrounds the opportunity to show their Irish pride and festively say goodbye to winter, welcoming in the new season.