No parades? No problem: Here are a few St. Patrick's Day events going on in Quebec

·3 min read
A giant effigy of St. Patrick is pulled along a street during the 2017 edition of the St. Patrick's Day parade in Montreal.  (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A giant effigy of St. Patrick is pulled along a street during the 2017 edition of the St. Patrick's Day parade in Montreal. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Normally at this time of year, St. Patrick's Day celebrations would be in full swing. But for the second year in a row, COVID-19 has curtailed many plans for in-person merrymaking.

We'll have to wait at least another year for the parades to return. In the meantime, event organizers across the province have come up with a few ways for revellers to celebrate this year.

Eastern Townships

The Richmond Irish Heritage Festival will hold an online Celtic kitchen party at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Host Noémia Keenan-Crépeau will introduce a lineup of musicians and talk about her experiences in the local Irish community.

Her family has been involved with the festival for years, she said. Her grandfather was once president, and three of her aunts are currently part of the committee.

"It's fun to join in," she said.

"I learn a lot through it. I learn a lot about our heritage, and I learn a lot about different stories that I didn't know."

There are a few events planned for Saturday as well, including a children's story time, virtual parade, and a demonstration on how to make Irish soda bread. Information about the events can be found on their website.

On Tuesday, Fergus Keyes, a member of Montreal's Irish community, will be giving a virtual talk on Irish Quebecers who made an impact on their communities and Quebec society. The event is part of the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network's Heritage Talks series.

Montreal area

The St. Patrick's Society of Montreal's annual luncheon will take place online. The guest speaker will be Eamonn McKee, Ireland's ambassador to Canada, and the 2020 and 2021 community award recipients will be honoured as well. Tickets are $25.

The Châteauguay Valley Irish Heritage Society is doing a virtual St. Patrick's Day show on Wednesday featuring local artists and this year's queen and princesses. On Saturday, they will hold a fundraising event in Châteauguay.

The Montreal St. Patrick's Day parade isn't happening this year. But the United Irish Societies, which organizes the event, is encouraging people to have their own (safe, physically distanced) parades, film them and upload the video to social media.

Good Luck Bear and friends participate in a St. Patrick's Day parade in Richmond, Que., in 2018. There won't be parades this year, but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate.
Good Luck Bear and friends participate in a St. Patrick's Day parade in Richmond, Que., in 2018. There won't be parades this year, but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate.(CBC)

Quebec City area

The Shannon Irish Show prepared a rebroadcast of its 50th anniversary party, available to watch on Facebook.

The Irish Show has been held nearly every year in Shannon, about 30 kilometres northwest of Quebec City, since 1964, but was cancelled the last two years.

For its 50th anniversary party in 2016, people came from all over Canada to take part. A lot of work was put into that show, said Kerry Ann King, president of the Catholic Women's League in Shannon, which helps organize the festivities.

"We thought this would be the best one to share with everybody at this time, especially since we all need a little lift after what we've been through this year."