Saint-Patrick’s Day Parade brings out the city’s green

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Photo: Jay Ouellet

Photo: Jay Ouellet, rue St-Jean during the March 20, 2010 St. Patrick’s Day Parade held this past weekend in Québec City

Green balloons dotted the route along Rue Saint-Jean, where later Saturday, green-clad spectators, many with their faces bearing shamrocks, watched the official return of the city's Saint-Patrick's Day parade.

Early Saturday morning, volunteers at Saint-Patrick's High School, on Avenue Salaberry, where the parade originated, helped organized the start of the procession, which went from the high school via Maissoneuve to Avenue Cartier fore descending toward Chemin Sainte-Foy and and eventually Rue Saint-Jean on its way to City Hall.

As the procession worked its way toward City Hall, the sidewalks were crowded with parade goers, a sight that continued well after the procession had concluded and into Saturday night. Sunday morning, the ice surface in front of Palais Montcalm on Rue Saint-Jean was littered with refuse.

Overcast skies and intermittent rain didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd, whose spirits were reinforced in the Irish pubs in the Old City.

The highlight of the parade was the appearance of the New York Pipe and Drum Corps, who arrived here Friday.
After the parade, participants and spectators gathered at City Hall, where participants were welcomed by officials, among them Mayor Regis Labeaume and City Councilwoman Michelle Morin Doyle.

Though organizers of parade touted the event as the first such parade in over 80 years, historian Marianna O'Gallagher said there were similar celebrations into the 1940s and 1950s.

The festivities continued Saturday night with a dinner in one of the banquet halls at the Loewe's Concorde Hotel on Grande Allée.