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Montrealers revel in St. Patrick's Day fun at 199th parade


The sun managed to peek out – a little bit of luck for thousands of revellers who took to the streets of Montreal Sunday for the 199th St. Patrick's Day Parade.

From Irish dancers, to pipes and drums, to media personalities on floats, some 100 entries took part in the parade. It resulting in a sea of green travelling along de Maisonneuve Boulevard from Fort Street to Jeanne-Mance Street.

This year's parade was extra special – the rare occasion when the parade falls on St. Patrick's Day.

"It's only been about nine times in the last 30, 40 years," said Kevin Dineen of the United Irish Societies of Montreal, who organized the parade.

The group expected a larger turnout because of the lucky day, and thousands of Montrealers showed up in droves.

Leading the parade was Grand Marshal Mike Kennedy, and Patty McCann served as chief reviewing officer.

Kennedy walked with his friend Liam Reason, a boy with a rare mitochondrial disease. He suffers from seizures and developmental delays.

"It feels great. Overwhelming, to be honest with you. Where we were a few years ago to now. Unbelievable," said Liam's father, Kevin James Reason.

The parade featured the St. Patrick's Queen, Chloe Miller, and her court: Julia Rochford, Madison Lalonde, Mia Simard and Shaeleigh Rose Spracklin.

An RCMP piped band entertains the crowd during the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Montreal, Sunday, March 17, 2024. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Though scattered showers were in the forecast, by the time the first bagpipes started, the sun was peeking through the crowd.

Parade die-hards say they would be here, no matter the weather.

"Through rain, through shine, through freezing temperatures, I'm always here. It's fantastic. It's our day of the year, man," said parade goer George O'Reilly.

There were about a dozen brand-new floats and groups this year, including the Cote-des-Neiges Black Association.

"We're up to to 95 today, so… definitely we're going back to pre-COVID. So that's exciting," said Dineen.

Whether it's the first or 40th parade, parade goers say the family affair never gets old.

"We've been coming every year since I've been knee-high. Haven't missed a parade yet," said Gail Costigan.

She definitely won't miss next year – when the parade turns 200.

(Olivier Dutrisac) Top Stories

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