MONTREAL -- Celebrations to mark the 180th edition of Quebec's Fete Nationale continued Tuesday as festivities across the province continued in spite of some dreary weather.

In Montreal thousands braved the rain to attend the traditional parade Tuesday afternoon which took place in the East End, departing  from Sherbrooke St. E and Place de Lery at 2:30 p.m.

Federal opposition leader Thomas Mulcair, Mario Beaulieu, who leads the Bloc Quebecois and provincial Culture Minister Helene David were among those in attendance.

The big evening show was slated for Maisonneuve Park, hosted by Louis-Jose Houde, and starring Michel Rivard, Damien Robitaille, Lisa Leblanc, Coeur de Pirate, France D'Amour, and Daniel Boucher. 

In Quebec City Monday night, thousands of people packed the historic Plains of Abraham to mark Quebec`s official holiday.

Quebec City police say there were some arrests for minor offences but reported no significant incidents.

Today in Montreal, an annual parade will wind through downtown to Maisonneuve Park in the east end for a concert in the evening.

In all, some 1,100 shows are due to be held across Quebec to celebrate the holiday, which is still known by many as St. Jean Baptiste Day, in spite of a name change in 1977. Altogether 6,000 events were planned for 700 sites across the province.

Other shows slated for Tuesday were Breen Leboeuf and Martin Deschamps in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, La Bottine Souriante at Mont-Tremblant, Laurence Jalbert in Mascouche, Christian-Marc Gendron and Marc Dupré in Repentigny, Loco Locass at Bois-des-Fillion, William Deslauriers at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Les Trois Accords at Saint-Rémi-de-Napierville, Annie Villeneuve at Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Xavier Caféine and Kaïn at Lachine and Louis-Jean Cormier in Saguenay.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered a speech saluting the occasion in Saint Lazare de Bellechasse, outside Quebec City.

In a statement, Harper said today's festivities "allow us to appreciate how Quebecois and Francophone heritage have contributed to building a united and prosperous Canada."

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau also issued statements marking the holiday.

A free concert will begin at 9 p.m. at Parc Maisonneuve.

Road closures for Tuesday's parade:

8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  • Sherbrooke St. between Montgomery and Place De Lery

12:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m

  • Sherbrooke St., between Pie-IX and Viau

1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  • Sherbrooke St. between Davidson and Pie-IX

2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  • Moreau St. between Sherbrooke and Hochelaga; Prefontane St., between Rachel and Hochelaga
  • De Lery St., between Rachel and Sherbrooke
  • St. Germain St., between Hochelaga and Sherbrooke
  • Davidson St. between Hochelaga and Rachel
  • Cuvillier St. between Sherbrooke and Hochelaga
  • Aylwin St. between Sherbrooke and Rachel
  • Joliette St. between Sherbrooke and Hochelaga
  • Chambly St. between Sherbrooke and Rachel
  • Valois St., between Rachel and Sherbrooke
  • Bourbonnire St. between Pierre de Coubertin and Sherbrooke
  • Orleans St., between Rachel and Sherbrooke
  • Charlemagne St., between Rachel and Sherbrooke
  • Jeanne d'Arc, between Rachel and Pierre de Coubertin
  • St. Pius IX, between Rachel and Pierre de Coubertin

-With a file from The Canadian Press