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9 of the best places to celebrate St. Jean Baptiste in Montreal

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Tyler Jadah Jun 12, 2018 10:45 am 759

St. Jean Baptiste Day in Quebec celebrates the patron saint of French Canadians. The provincial holiday is celebrated throughout the June 22 weekend and is a chance for the province of Quebec to celebrate its heritage, history, and identity.

The City of Montreal is a major player in the Quebec-wide holiday and hosts a slew of parties, events, and activities for Quebeckers of all ages to enjoy.

We’ve assembled a list of fun things to do to celebrate St. Jean Baptiste Day, all you have to do is find some fleur-de-lis memorabilia and then you’re ready to roll.

Le Grand Spectacle

montreal Jean Baptiste Day

fetenatmtl/Instagram

Le Grand Spectacle is arguably the most popular event on St. Jean Baptiste in Quebec. Located at Place des Festivals, Le Grand Spectacle is a massive free concert that hosts a slew of local artists and musicians at the Quartier des Spectacles. A lot of people, lots of beer, and loads of blue flags.

When: June 23
Time: 1 pm – midnight
Where: Place des Festivals, Quartier des Spectacles
Price: Free

Montreal Bonfire

Revived in 2013, the French tradition of lighting a bonfire on La Saint-Jean is an homage to what Quebec’s New France settlers did in the 17th century. Montreal’s official Fête Nationale ensure that the bonfire is supervised by trained professionals so celebrators can enjoy the event in complete safety.

When: June 22
Time: 7 pm
Where: Olympic Park
Price: Free

Les Bad Boys Du Rire

Preach from the Montreal comedy duo of Aba & Preach hosts a comedy show featuring 10 of Quebec’s up and coming stand-up comedians. Les Bad Boys Du Rire (The Bad Boys of Comedy) features primarily French comics but also sprinkles in some English comics to balance out the vibe.

When: June 23
Time: 7 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: 1600 Rue Robinson, Laval
Price: $20

Saint Jean Parade

st jean baptiste

La Fete Nationale

What’s better than a parade? Two parades at the same time.

That’s exactly what’s happening on June 24 as two separate parade routes will leave at the same time, take different routes, and converge at Jeanne Mance Park for a party. The ‘North’ parade leaves Boulevard Maisonneuve and Saint-Denis and the ‘South’ float leaves Maisonneuve and Peel.

The long-standing parade features various elements of Quebec culture including winter and sports themes, marine life and animal balloons, caricatures of Quebec celebrities, Quebec artists, music, dancing, and politicians.

Onlookers are encouraged to join the parade once the tail-end has passed.

When: June 24
Time: 9:15 pm – midnight
Where: Separate routes from Maisonneuve and Saint-Denie and Maisonneuve and Peel to Jeanne Mance Park
Price: Free

Piknic Électronik

Celebrate Quebec by dancing to electronic dance music from world-renowned DJs at Montreal’s dynamic man-made island. In honour of the Quebec holiday, Piknic Électronik’s will feature local DJs Clarian, Apportez Votre Vin, Coach Vic, CRi, and headliners Ryan Playground and Tommy Kruise.

When: June 24
Time: 2 pm – 9:30 pm
Where: Plaine des Jeux, Parc Jean Drapeau
Price: $14.50 online, $19 at the door

Imagine Monkland Street Festival

Monkland

@baffleraffle/Instagram

Monkland has teamed up with NDG Arts Week and NDG Business Association in launching Imagine Monkland just in time for St. Jean Baptiste weekend.

Over 50 restaurant outlets and store boutiques will be set up along Avenue Monkland from Avenue Girouard to Avenue Harvard which will be completely closed off to motorists.

A parade, local bands, circus acts, children’s activities, and a giant street-wide sale will highlight the Imagine Monkland festival. The festival is expected to host over 90,000 participants during its three-day run.

When: June 22 – 24
Time: 5 pm – 11 pm on Friday, 11 am – 11 pm on Saturday and 11 am – 7 pm on Sunday
Where: Avenue Monkland, NDG
Price: The festival is free to enter

The Montreal Jerk Food Festival

jerk food

Patting Sirikul/Shutterstock

Albeit a tad unconventional, The Montreal Jerk Food Festival is an entertaining and equally filling party to celebrate St. Jean Baptiste.

The Lachine Soccerplexe hosts a bunch of Jamaican food vendors slinging some seriously mouthwatering food. Try everything from jerk poutine (obviously), jerk pork, jerk pizza, jerk ribs, to jerk lobster.

The festival does more than just satisfy your taste buds, the outdoor event will also have DJs, emcees, and bouncy castles for the kids.

When: June 24
Time: 
12 pm – 9 pm
Where: 775  Avenue 1, Lachine
Price: Free to enter, food and drink costs vary

Marché des Possibles

Monkland isn’t the only street festival happening in Montreal during St. Jean Baptiste weekend, Marché des Possibles (The Market of Possibilities) opens for their summer season during Quebec’s holiday weekend.

The market hosts musicians, boutiques, restaurant kiosks, yoga workshops, and shopping outlets in the Mile End’s Plateau. All companies taking part in the street festival are from Quebec.

When: June 22 – 24
Time: 5 pm – midnight on Friday and 11 am – 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday
Where: 5635 Rue St. Dominique
Price: The street festival is free to enter

Car Convoy at the Orange Julep

orange julep

Orange Julep/Shutterstock

The Orange Julep is a Montreal staple.

What better way to celebrate Le Saint Jean than by devouring a classic poutine while looking at a library of vintage cars and motorcycles.

On Thursday, the Orange Julep is holding a convoy of classic cars into their parking lot to celebrate the arrival of St. Jean Baptiste weekend.

When: June 25
Time: 11 am – noon
Where: 7700 Boulevard Decarie
Price: The convoy is free to enter

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Tyler Jadah
I'm a simple man; I just want both sides of my pillow to always be cool.

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