One of the main highlights of March, St. Patrick's Day Parade in Montreal attracts about 500,000 spectators and thousands of participants. Cheerful crowds dressed in traditional Irish costumes, leprechaun hats, and fake red beards fill the streets of downtown Montreal, marching from St. Catherine Street to Phillips Square. There are also many street parties, performances, and Irish community happenings on the same day with the parade.
The St. Patrick's Day parade has been held annually in Canada since 1824. The celebration has even taken place during the times of war and economic depression. According to some historical records, Montréal has been celebrating St. Patrick's Day even earlier, since 1759, the year of the Conquest. Montréal's parade is definitely among the longest-running in North America, along with the New York and Boston parades. It is currently being organized by the United Irish Societies of Montréal.
Many attendees start St.Patrick's Day celebration with an Irish breakfast at one of the pubs in downtown Montreal. After watching the three-hour jovial and costumed procession on St. Catherine Street that starts at noon, the crowds go back to pubs to celebrate. So don't forget to drink an Irish coffee prior to the parade or to grab a beer afterward!