It’s a fitting bit of coincidental gallows humour that the headlining band at the city’s outdoor New Year’s Eve party tonight is called The Lost Fingers, as a deep chill could threaten the extremities and other body parts of those who dare come under-dressed to a  massive public party at the Place Jacques Cartier.

A big crowd is expected at the event in spite of the bone-chilling climes and those who show up are warned that the temporary heaters are few and far between.

An organizer didn’t seem too worried that the crowd might suffer in the -20C temperatures at the party that is slated to last until 2 a.m.

“I'm sure everyone will dress warmly and I mean we're Quebecers we're used to winter. We know it's cold outside,” said event organizer Martin Durocher.

Earlier Tuesday the city’s liquor outlets were bursting at the seams in preparation of the New Year's Eve festivities as champagne-purchasing consumers were forced to wait in long lines to get their stash for the evening.

But not all bubbly will be consumed at home. The Auberge St. Gabriel in Old Montreal is one of many places expected to pop more than few corks around midnight.

The organizer of that champagne-sipping event said that New Year’s Eve and champagne are a classic combination.

“Because for me champagne is celebration. For me we don't celebrate without champagne,” said Cindy Levy of Moet-Hennessy.

Those who attend such events should be warned to keep warm, however as the weather is expected to get colder before it gets slightly less chilly Saturday.

While Montrealers might be shocked by the lack of mercury in the thermometer, one weather official noted that our perspectives have been skewed by a long succession of warmer-than-usual winters.

“I don't want to alarm people, but the last time we had a winter in Canada was that we could declare was colder-than-usual was 18 years ago. So we're sort of out of practice. And December will clearly come on as a much colder than usual December,” said David Philipps, Senior Climatologist, Environment Canada.