Montréal celebrates Saint-Jean-Baptiste day loud and proud.

Isa Tousignant

HAPPY SAINT-JEAN! If you’re in Montréal over the weekend of June 24, you’re in luck – everyone will be celebrating with you. Québec’s national holiday, named after St. John the Baptist (the patron saint of French Canadians), is celebrated in Montréal with everything from neighbourhood parties with outdoor jam sessions and community picnics to a parade and a giant, no-holds-barred free music show. It’s all great fun. Come celebrate Saint-Jean like a local!

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National pride on the big stage

This huge free outdoor concert kicks the official celebrations off at the Place des Festivals on June 23 at 6:30 pm – we Québécois like to be mid-party when the clock strikes midnight and ring in the 24th in style from moment one (we also celebrate in the night on Christmas Eve, when it’s known as the réveillon). This raucous show features famous Québécois acts including the legendary Claude Dubois and Robert Charlebois, in addition to Charlotte Cardin, La Bronze, Gardy Fury and many others, all hosted by Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge. The Place des festivals will also be animated with all sorts of related activities, so make sure you wander.

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A party parade on the Plateau

The annual Saint-Jean-Baptiste parade takes place along Saint-Denis Street this year, starting on the corner of Boucher and heading southward toward De Rigaud, just before Sherbrooke Street. From gorgeous floats to live music to acrobatics and animations, the parade is fun for the whole family and a great way to enjoy Montréal’s stunning June weather. The parade lasts approximately two hours and starts at 1 pm on June 24.

It takes a village

To find the full schedule of neighbourhood celebrations, head to this super clear page (though it’s exclusively in French). It might be more fun to explore this city-wide, family-friendly celebration on a whim, sniffing out the street party nearest you! Neighbourhoods that have great all-day outdoor activities worth wandering through on both June 23 and 24 include Villeray (check out De Castelneau street between De Gaspé and Drolet for free musical performances), Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (the Olympic Stadium Plaza is animated with activities for the whole family), the Plateau (especially around Lafontaine Park), Rosemont (Pelican Park is the hot spot) and Chinatown (in and around Sun Yat Sen Park). Note the fireworks schedule here!

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant, blogger

Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal’s ecclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.

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