This year, St. Patrick's Day ( or Montreal's favorite day ever) lands on Monday which, in other cities, might mean that we're all stuck at work or school. In our wonderful city, it just means that we get three full days (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) of Saint-Patrick's magic. Just in case you're new in town, or new to St. Paddy's, we've put together a survival guide for you that applies to the whole weekend.
This is kind of a no-brainer, but it's important to make sure you get all of the facts, just in case you're a complete n00b. Everyone, and we mean everyone, will be decked out in green all weekend long. Keep in mind, though, that we still live in Montreal and it's only March (how sad is that?) so you'll want to dress warmly under all that Irish splendor.
Head to the Dollar Store
If you really want to get into the spirit of the holiday, you have to head over to your local dollar store early and buy pretty much everything in the St. Paddy's section. Shamrock tickers? Check. Feather boas? Yessir. 'Leprechaun' top hats? You betcha. The more ridiculous you look, the more friends you'll make throughout the day.
Sure, this isn't what you want to hear, but we're not telling you to drink only water. This is a survival guide and you will definitely need water to survive everything else you'll be drinking on St. Paddy's. With pints of beer and green cocktails available pretty much everywhere, everyone, from the police to your parents, knows that the whole city will be getting drunk on Sunday. It'll be much better if you're smart about it - easier hangover, less embarrassing moments and (bonus!) you get to remember the night.
This works the same way as drinking water - the more you eat, the better it will be for you in the long run. Keep in mind, you'll probably be drinking from the moment you wake up until you pass out at the end of the night (or, the next morning). That being said, you should definitely make sure you get three solid meals throughout the festivities. Start your day right with an Irish breakfast at one of Montreal's beloved pubs and go from there. We guarantee it'll make your St. Paddy's experience all the more enjoyable.
Go To The Parade
Montreal has one of the best Saint-Patrick's Day Parades and there is no reason why you should miss it. This year's parade is happening on Sunday, March 16th at noon. Keep yourself in check though - a lot of families come out to see the parade and it wouldn't be very nice for you to be drunkenly walking around, scaring the children. Also, don't try to cut in front of other people and get to the front of the crowd (who have likely been standing there for a while to secure their spots) - they're floats, you can see them from the back, we promise.
Organize Your Group
Ensuring that you have the right group of people with you is crucial to a happy St. Paddy's experience. Make sure that everyone knows what the weekend requires and what activities you'll be taking part in, so that there are no arguments throughout the day that will ruin the vibe. Maybe you want to spend a day celebrating a friend's, a day at a pub and a day at the parade? Or all three days at a pub? As long as you're all on the same page, it'll be awesome.
Hit The Pubs Early
This tip is especially useful if you're not too set on going to the parade. Hit up your favorite pub at around 12 pm. Here's why: everyone else will have just finished enjoying their Irish breakfast and will be lining up to see the parade. You, on the other hand, have now just acquired prime St. Paddy's real estate for the rest of your festivities. Plus, with so many pubs situated along the parade route, you can quickly go out a few times to catch a glimpse of it before coming back inside to your spot.
Stock up at the SAQ
The lineups at the SAQ this weekend will be insane, so if you're a carry your flask to the parade kind of guy or gal, make sure you head there as soon as possible (as in, like yesterday). Jameson and Guinness are pretty much your best choice for St. Paddy's so make sure those are at the top of your list.
Charge your phone
Remember when you were a little kid and you walked away from your parents for a minute? The panic and helplessness? Yeah, having that happen while you're drunk on St. Paddy's would be a bad trip. Make sure you fully charge your phone so that you don't get lost in the crowd and never found again.
Call in Sick
Now, don't tell your boss we told you this but, calling in sick may just be the best thing you do on Monday morning. If that's too obvious, then take Tuesday off and make the most of your after-work hours on St. Paddy's. Either way, as long as your boss doesn't see you reading this, he'll never know.