1. The Montréal St. Patrick’s Parade is the oldest of its kind in Canada – It has existed since 1824 and it takes three hours!
2. During the parade, hundreds of floats, marching bands, performers and revelers march along Sainte-Catherine Street. 250,000 to 700,000 people attend the parade. It is such a big party!
3. Irish family history is very lively in Montréal. In many Irish pubs you can listen to tales from real Irish people. You should also try to play some gambling in the pubs or try your St. Patrick‘s luck here: About Atlantis Thunder – the St Patrick’s Edition
Most of the pubs are located mere steps from the parade route.
4. An actual study says that the parade in Montreal is one of the best opportunities for Canadian singles to fall in love with their future husband/wife. Love is in the air!
5. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Montréal was held in 1759 by the Irish soldiers of the Montréal Garrison. So it was three years before the start of the New York’s parade.
6. The Irish Commemorative Stone, also known as „The Black Rock“, was the first memorial to the Great Famine in the world! It was placed in Montréal 155 years ago to honor the deaths of 6,000 Irish immigrants who died in a typhus epidemic.
7. The St. Patrick’s Parade of Montréal is very diverse! The parade not only boasts a Grand Marshal in a black top hat, there is also a Queen and a Princess. Furthermore the Pipes & Drums of the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment of Canada and many other communities show the diversity of the city.
8. The St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal is the oldest fraternal organization in Canada.
9. There is one important rule: Wearing green on Saint Patrick’s Day is supposed to make you invisible to leprechauns. They will catch you as soon as you come upon their radar if you don’t wear green. So be careful! 😉
10. Long time ago in Montréal the first Irish person arrived in Canada around 1661: Tadhg Cornelius O’Brennan came to Montréal with many Irish Catholic refugees of a war. Two centuries later, Irish nationalist Edmund Bailey O’Callaghan was elected to government and Thomas D’Arcy McGee entered Parliament, soon to become a Father of Confederation.
11. Irish immigration grew over many years, causing some different groups to organize the parade since 1824, including Michael Sullivan of the St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal, Montréal’s Irish Catholic parishes, the Irish Protestant Benevolent Society, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the United Irish Societies of Montreal, created in 1928.
12. The flag of Montréal shows the Importance of the Irish, visualising a green shamrock in one of the flag’s quadrants, with a blue fleur-de-lys for the French, a red Rose for the English and Welsh, a thistle for the Scots, and a pine tree for the First Nations.
13. So what are you waiting for? National Geographic voted Montréal’s parade as one of the top 10 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the World!