Eighth Défilé de la Saint-Patrick to be more festive than ever

Photo: Shirley Nadeau

The Irish flag was raised in front of Quebec City Hall before the activities to take place on March 23 to 25, including the Défilé de la Saint-Patrick, were announced by the Grand Marshall of the 2017 parade Stephen Burke, Deputy-Mayor Michelle Morin-Doyle, vice-president of the Défilé de la Saint-Patrick James Donovan, president of Action Promotion Grande Allée André Verreault, and the director of Festivière Sébastien Huot. Bagpiper Christian Haerinck played “Danny Boy.”

Quebec City is getting its green on for the upcoming the St. Patrick’s festivities.

The Défilé de la Saint-Patrick will be held on Saturday, March 25, starting at 2 p.m. After passing in front of St. Patrick’s Church on Avenue de Salaberry, it will make its way along Rue Aberdeen to Avenue Cartier and then all the way down Grande Allée and into the Old City via Rue Saint-Louis to end in front of City Hall.

The eighth annual parade will feature the famous Pipes & Drums of The Emerald Society of the New York City Police Department, the Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums, the Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police Department and the Toronto Fire Services Pipes and Drums. Other participants expected are the ceremonial unit of the Service de police de la Ville de Québec; the 78th Fraser Highlanders; the RCMP Pipes, Drums and Dancers and four magnificent RCMP horses; plus Irish wolfhounds, Celtic dance troops, historic reenactors, circus performers and representatives of Irish families who live in the Quebec City area.

Besides the parade, this year many other events will be offered in the days leading up to the parade. “By offering a program of St. Patrick’s festivities over three days we really want to point out that this is a traditional Irish festival,” said Deputy Mayor Morin-Doyle. “From March 23 to 25, Quebec will be the destination for celebrating St. Patrick's Day!”

Grande Allée will focus on the food, music and traditions of Ireland. The Ville de Québec and Action Promotion Grande Allée combine for the first time this year to provide activities celebrating St. Patrick. Irish gastronomy will be on the menu, as restaurants will offer typical Irish dishes to their clients.

An exhibit featuring several Irish and Scottish bagpipes will be presented free of charge in the Salle de la Colline of the Château Laurier Hotel on March 24 from 5 to 9 p.m. and on March 25 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

After visiting the bagpipe exhibit, on March 24 at 9 p.m., visitors can head to the ballroom of the Hotel Concorde for a wild night of music offered by the group Dublin 5.

As the Défilé de la Saint-Patrick de Québec passes by on March 25, terraces on Grande Allée will be lively with fireplaces, green decorations, green beer, face painting and the distribution of balloons. The festivities will also continue after 9 p.m. when the group Dublin 5 will return to Les 3 Brasseurs restaurant.

This year the Festibière de Québec will be held from March 23 to 25, from 5:30 p.m. to midnight, at the Musée de la Civilization on Rue Dalhousie. Fans of Irish fare will appreciate the products of 20 microbreweries, cider bars and restaurants, accompanied by the music of Alex Richard, Jonathan Moorman, and The Swindlers. For more details visit festibieredequebec.com.

For more information on the March 23 to 25 St. Patrick’s celebrations in Quebec City, consult saintpatrickquebec.com.

Of course, the real St. Patrick’s Day is Friday, March 17. The congregation of St. Patrick’s Church in Quebec City will be celebrating with a Mass and banquet that evening.

Montreal holds its St. Patrick parade on Sunday, March 19, and many of the bands who perform there also come to Quebec City. As a result, the parade here is always held on the Saturday following the Montreal parade. Hopefully the weather will be warmer by then!