Tomorrow is the official first day of spring and we're hoping - like, all our fingers and toes crossed kind of hoping - that Mother Nature sticks to her schedule. It has been a long winter and we're all ready to shed our coats, hit up some of our favorite terraces and bask in the sunlight. Although the weather outside is still not what it should be, we want everyone to get excited for spring in Montreal.
One of our highest ranked and most fun outdoor festivals of the year that yes, kicks off in the spring, May 25th, and spans all the way to the end of September. In our opinion, spring really is officially official when this thing begins.
Seriously, what sane person doesn't love sitting on a terrace, enjoying a drink and the company of good friends? Restaurants and bars know that this is all we really long for, so they'll be opening up their outdoor areas as soon as we get a solid week of warm weather. Get ready Montreal - you're about to spend more time than you'd like to admit sitting on one of those plastic chairs, sipping beer or sangria and having a fantastic time.
One of the best aspects of this city are the open air markets; fresh produce, amazing dishes, unique recipe ideas, everything and anything a foodie loves. With so many food-obsessed Montrealers, it's not surprising that we have several incredible markets. As the weather gets warmer, the vendors begin setting up their stalls outside and there is nothing better than spending an afternoon exploring all of their products (aka, taste-testing everything).
Bal en Blanc
Oh yeah, that's right - with spring, comes Bal en Blanc. No big deal, right? Wrong, so wrong. It's right around the corner and you should be pumped. Beautiful people, dressed all in white, bumping to the best music. This year, it gets better. Our beloved BeB turns 20 and to celebrate, they're going all out, Wonderland-style. Follow that tricky white rabbit through five days of music, ending with a trip down the rabbit hole on Sunday, April 20th, into Palais des Congres: 3 massive arenas to rave and wonder at. Seriously Montreal, doesn't it feel like we wait all year for this?
Thrill-seekers around the city know that with sunshine, comes the opening of La Ronde, in May. The best part is that they always spoil us with new rides and attractions this year - we can't wait until opening day to see what they've come up with this year.
Although the city offers us many things to do in Old Montreal, all year-round, there's a lot to be said about the old port in the spring. The roads start being overrun by pedestrians, exploring the art galleries or taking in the beautiful architecture. Tourists slowly start coming in for weekends and people-watching is always a good time, when out-of-towners are around. But, the best thing about the old port is that there are all of these little alleys, nooks and crannies which are so much fun to find - it feels like every time you visit, you discover something new.
Now, we sometimes complain about the cyclists - especially those who insist on doing it all through the winter, when we're trying to avoid hitting them with our cars - but we all know that we itch to take out our bikes as soon as the snow starts melting. Montreal has cycling routes that span pretty much the whole city and, now that Bixi bikes are here to stay, we can't wait to break out our protective gear (always be safe, kids!) and spend our days getting to know our beautiful city, all over again.
Mondiale de la Biere
Technically, the Beer Festival happens at the end of May, but since summer only really begins on June 21st, it totally counts. From May 29th to June 2nd, you're guaranteed to find most of us at the Palais des Congres, beer-tasting all day long. This year, the Beer Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary which we've decided just means that we should have even more beer than usual - I mean, it's their birthday, right?
Grand Prix Weekend
Arguably one of Montreal's best weekends, Grand Prix is happening from June 6th-8th this year. You don't need to go to the race to appreciate the awesomeness of this event - just head downtown and follow the crowd of people leading you to a massive street party. Vendors and companies set up stalls everywhere and much of the downtown core is closed off to road traffic, which in Montreal-speak means more fun for the locals. Hot cars, gorgeous people, music, food and sunshine - what more can you ask for?
The Weather, Duh!
Obviously, this isn't specific to Montreal, but FINALLY getting some warm weather is a very good reason to be excited for spring. This winter has been brutal and never-ending, definitely one of the longest ever, but we have been patient, Mother Nature, very patient. It's about time we get some sunshine up in here!