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Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014 - Défilé de la Saint Patrick

Guide to St. Patrick's Day Parade in Montreal

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montreal saint patrick's day parade 2014

Above: Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade participants waving at the crowd.

Photo © Evelyn Reid
Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014
The 191st Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. on Sunday, March 16, 2014 at the corner of Fort and Ste. Catherine and will proceed along the main thoroughfare until the corner of Phillips Square and Ste. Catherine, where the parade concludes, shortened by five blocks since 2010, when construction prevented the procession from reaching St. Urbain. Consult this map for route details. The parade is made possible by the United Irish Societies of Montreal, who are celebrating their 85th anniversary as organizers of Montreal's St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2014.

How Long Does the Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade Parade Last?
Attendees can expect the particularly jovial and animated parade to last about two hours, maybe three.

What Goes on at the Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade?
See for yourself.

What Goes on Before and After the Parade?
Lots. Several Irish pubs in the downtown area serve breakfast and Irish coffee prior to the parade, followed by live music after the parade. Here's a list of Irish pub highlights in 2014. But just bear in mind that downtown area Irish pubs get really packed post-parade, so packed, they overflow with lineups. But there's a way around the chaos. Find out how to beat the crowds.

St. Paddy's Parade on Ste. Catherine Street
Held on March 17 or (usually) on the Sunday closest to the day Ireland's patron saint is traditionally honored, Montreal's St. Patrick's Day Parade used to proceed along Notre-Dame Street in Old Montreal, but blocks away from the community's historical home turf, Griffintown. But downtown's commercial artery, Ste. Catherine Street, is the place to be to catch the parade in modern times.

St. Paddy's in Montreal: A Wee History
The oldest St. Patrick's Day parade in Canada, the Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade has been held every single year since 1824, and no circumstance, from snowstorm to wartime to economic depression, has stopped it from marching on. Historian Don Pidgeon claims Montreal has been celebrating St. Paddy's Day decades earlier than that, just not in a parade format, since at least 1759, the year of the Conquest.

Longest-Running St. Paddy's Parade in North America: A Wee Correction
Up until the 2009 edition, when your humble expert finally outed the error, a widespread myth spotted in Montreal's major newspapers, in press releases and various news websites -- that Montreal's St. Patrick's Day Parade was the longest-running in North America -- was somehow established as fact. BUT the title of longest running uninterrupted North American St. Paddy's parade -- at least according to its organizers as well as National Geographic and The New York Times -- actually belongs to New York City's procession, boasting over 250 consecutive annual runs since 1762, 14 years before the American Revolution. On the other hand, concerns about the organizing committee's credibility come into question as they boldly state the NYC parade is also the oldest St. Patrick's Day parade in the world on their website (last checked March 14, 2010), which conflicts with Boston's claim that they got the first St. Patrick's Day Parade ball rolling decades earlier, in 1737. Boston did not keep it consecutive though, with 2013 having marked its 112th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Sources: United Irish Societies of Montreal, The New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade & Celebration Committee, About.com New England

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