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Montrealers celebrate St. Patrick’s day with annual parade

Thousands attend 196th St. Patrick’s Day parade in Montreal
WATCH: Global's Sebastien Gagnon-Dorval captures the sights and sounds as thousands of Montrealers celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the 196th annual parade.

It’s not every year that St. Patrick’s Day coincides with the annual parade in Montreal.

Could it be the luck of the Irish smiling down on the 196th edition of the parade?

“It’s St. Patrick’s Day itself — there can’t be a better day for a parade than today,” said Ken Quinn, spokesperson for the United Irish Societies of Montreal, the group tasked with organizing the parade.

Quinn also lauded the event’s longevity.

“One hundred and ninety six years! It’s the longest consecutively held parade in North America,” he said. “I think we’re doing something right.”

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The procession kicked off at noon on Sunday at the corner of Ste-Catherine and Fort streets.

WATCH: Queen and her court selected for Montreal’s 196th St. Patrick’s Day parade

Queen and court selected for Saint Patrick’s parade
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Quinn expected Ste-Catherine Street to be even more crowded than usual as the parade route was shortened due to construction on the street.

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“Two hundred to three hundred thousand people usually show up,” said Quinn ahead of the parade.

As part of the celebrations, a total of 15 floats and around 2,000 people from 100 groups and  participated. This included 17 bands from Quebec and Ontario.

And as one seven-year-old parade-goer told Global News, the music was the best part of the festivities.

While Quinn worried some might be put off by the cold, word on the street was that dancing to the various beats kept the cold at bay.

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6 Irish phrases to learn for Saint Patrick’s Day
6 Irish phrases to learn for Saint Patrick’s Day

Several roads in the downtown core were closed to traffic during the day, with Montreal police on hand to help drivers navigate the detours.

— With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise