(Montreal) After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, the Santa Claus parade once again enchanted downtown Montreal on Saturday. Among family and friends, there were thousands of Quebecers gathered along the Rue Sainte-Catherine in the spirit of the holidays.
With children on their shoulders and the little ones in strollers, several families flocked to the edge of Rue Sainte-Catherine to get a closer look at the Santa Claus parade on Saturday. The crowd stretched from Chomedey Street to Jeanne-Mance Street at the Place des Festivals in downtown Montreal.
“Oh my God! It feels good, says the father, Jean-René Hétu, who came from Terrebonne with his young children and his wife. Just to see happy people, it’s nice. According to him, it’s never too early in November to start Christmas festivities “We’re starting to get into the Christmas spirit,” she adds with a smile on her face.
in this 70me edition of the parade, the City of Montreal expected no less than 400,000 spectators. The event also mobilized several police officers along the route, by car, by bicycle and up the hill.
It was Santa Claus who led the way shortly after 11 in the morning in his car with his little elves, to the rhythm of the song. long live the windperformed by a music band on site.
“The weather is nice, it’s nice, but we don’t see much,” said William Drouin, hidden from the spectacle by the crowd. “It’s great that life starts again,” added his mother-in-law, who came from Mascouche for a family moment in the center.
” It feels good. It changes the air”, also drops the mother Marion Olivier-Robert.
Jean-Baptiste Calvez, a foreign student at the École de technologie supérieure, agrees. “I arrived in Montreal during the pandemic […] this year it is very good to see that there are many things and so many people on the street”, he says.
About fifteen 100% electric allegorical floats paraded down Rue Sainte-Catherine towards the Place des Festivals where the Great Christmas Market of the metropolis is held, until December 31.
More than 1,000 artists and volunteers pitched in Saturday afternoon to bring Christmas magic to downtown. Artists courtship from Cirque du Soleil and December de Québecissime also participated in the parade. Young children were also delighted to see the characters Atchoum and Henri Godon on the streets of Montreal.
the star fairy
The return of the parade was marked in particular by the presence of the drag queen Barbada from Barbados who embodied the fairy of the Stars, previously played by Joannie Rochette, Vanessa Pilon, Ima, Marie-Mai and Marie-Ève Janvier. The announced participation of Barbados had also sown controversy, giving rise in particular to misunderstandings and offensive comments.
“I can understand that it is very different, but […] You are going to see that you are going to be very, very, very surprised and surprised by the magnitude of this year and what also adds having a drag queen, precisely the extravagant side, ”Barbada said this week. in the Canadian press.
“I think it will also be an opportunity for people to find the center of the city,” launched the drag queen. For the holidays, it will be a new opportunity to revisit the beauty and diversity that downtown Montreal offers. »
By the way, the Montreal Grand Christmas Market was alive on Saturday afternoon, while the parade ended near the shops, on the Place des Festivals. Spectators were able to snack and do their Christmas shopping in the mild climate of November.
“You see the energy right now. Everyone wants it to be Christmas. Everyone is ready to join in,” says Kimberley Castaneda, who runs the SILKNSOAK boutique in the market for the second time.
“Last year we were on Rue Sainte-Catherine. It was not the same environment. Look at. We have the show, that changes everything,” adds retailer Nathalie Best, who runs the La Plantation boutique.
with the Canadian press
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