Montreal’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in 1824 and, since the city boasts a large number Irish folks and an even larger number of people happy to be “Irish for the day”, the parade seems to get bigger and more vibrant every year. On March 18, get set for hours of parade hijinks with floats, bands and non-stop Irish revelry…
On the Sunday after the actual St Paddy’s day (March 17), the parade, which starts at noon, will march down Sainte-Catherine Street with a gaggle of musicians, dancers, marching bands, floats, giant leprechauns, smaller leprechauns and throngs of people wearing novelty sized hats celebrating with merry cheer.
If you’re wondering what to do this year before the parade, most Irish pubs in heart of downtown Montreal have prepared special menus and events for the holy day. There are dozens of Irish pubs in the parade vicinity that will be serving a special breakfast, and we all know that it’s important to have a good solid foundation if you plan on observing St Pattys properly.
The parade itself is on Sunday, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that you can’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all weekend. The city’s Irish bars and pubs become hubs of activity before, during and after the parade. Look forward to raucous live music, special Irish cuisine and most importantly, the finest Irish coffees and beers this side of Ireland. Here’s a couple tried-and-true favourites…
Hurley’s Irish Pub is a classic stop if you’re planning on observing St Patty’s. On Sunday, they’ll be dishing out the finest of Irish breakfasts. You can look forward to Irish coffee, sausages, soda bread, potatoes and other native treats. They also have a great selection of beer and alcohol if you’re so inclined- and, as you can tell from the video above, at least one bartender who is actually Irish.
McKibbons is also situated in the downtown core and the watering hole is very close to the parade route. They’ll also be serving a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast (8am until noon) with a twist on the classic Irish meal. Eat, drink, be merry and enjoy live Irish music from Good Time Charlie, Salty Dog and more.
There are events all weekend at the Irish Embassy Pub and Grill, but the main event is of course on Sunday. Look forward to a pre-parade breakfast starting at 9am. Then enjoy live Celtic music from The Bombadlis and, soon after sundown, listen to some good old fashioned rock and roll from The Jack.
Montreal St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 18, 2012
All images courtesy of the United Irish Societies